Boom! Yesterday bore witness to a pretty friggin’ fantastic sunspot. I ain’t going to keep barking my gelantinous mind-mush.
Hit the jump to check it out.
Isn’t that amazing? The flare that triggered this event was no big deal, about an M1.7, which is nothing to worry about at all. We had far bigger ones in March! But that arc of plasma – ionized gas – is astonishing. Flares happen when the magnetic field lines of the Sun get tangled, and suddenly release their vast, vast stored energy. The erupting plasma follows those field lines up and away from the Sun. Some escapes forever, and some falls back to the surface. You can easily see it flowing in these videos.