I know I’ve been writing about the Sun quite a bit lately, but I have a followup to yesterday’s cool video of the big solar flare… and you’re gonna like it.
I was fooling around with helioviewer.org, watching the flare in different wavelengths of light detected by NASA’s Solar Dynamics observatory, when I switched to 17.1 nanometers — in the far ultraviolet. At that wavelength, the glowing plasma that flows along the Sun’s magnetic field lines is very bright. The images were so beautiful, so incredible, I made a video animation of them, covering the time range of January 26, 2012 at midnight to January 28 at noon (UTC), which includes the huge X2 solar flare that erupted on the 27th. The video shows huge loops of magnetism on the Sun’s surface, glowing plasma flowing along them… and then 48 seconds in the flare changes everything. Watch: