Monday, July 2, 2012

Solar fireworks might be heading our way for the 4th

How about that? Just in time to celebrate 4th of July…why does that seem kinda scary?

At 10:43 UT time on July 2, 2012 a M5.6-class solar flare erupted from Active Region 1515. It peaked at 10:52 UT.
A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) accompanied the solar flare and hurled a cloud of plasma into Space. In the last segment it can be seen that part of the CME is being pulled back to the surface. It did not have the escape velocity of 384 miles per second needed to continue its journey. In comparison; it takes 7 miles per second escape velocity to leave Earth. Coronal rain has long been a mystery. It's not surprising that plasma should fall back to the Sun. After all, the sun's gravity is powerful. (source) Credit: NASA SDO

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