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Home > solar dynamics observatory, Solar Flare, Space Weather, sun, The Sun > Spectacular prominence eruption on the sun! Don’t miss this!

Spectacular prominence eruption on the sun! Don’t miss this!

June 7th, 2011

image of solar prominence eruptiuon on june 7, 2011


This morning, Jack Ireland of NASA Goddard’s Helioviewer Project sent an email alerting us to a “spectacular” event still in progress on the sun. It was a huge prominence eruption, marked by a solar flare and release of energetic particles. It looks like a fountain of plasma that blasts out of the solar surface, spreads outward, and collapses to splat back down.

Here is video courtesy Helioviewer.org and a narration by The Sun Today.


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OH AND DID I MENTION? All opinions and opinionlike objects in this blog are mine alone and NOT those of NASA or Goddard Space Flight Center. And while we’re at it, links to websites posted on this blog do not imply endorsement of those websites by NASA.


  1. Laura G
    June 7th, 2011 at 13:02 | #1

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing!

  2. June 7th, 2011 at 18:02 | #2

    Is this video sped up? It looks like it must be, as the speeds the matter seems to be traveling at is completely absurd!

    • dpendick
      June 8th, 2011 at 09:40 | #3

      Yes, definitely! It happened over several hours (it takes a lot of energy to move blobs of plasma the size of Earth). Typically we chose a time-step rate of 30 minutes to make the videos from SDO space images.

    • dpendick
      June 8th, 2011 at 09:59 | #4

      Yes, definitely! It happened over several hours (it takes a lot of energy to move blobs of plasma the size of Earth). Typically I chose a time-step rate of 30 minutes in JHelioviewer to make the videos from SDO space images.

  3. Nick
    June 8th, 2011 at 00:22 | #5

    Thank you so much for this and the commentary. It’s things like this where I feel like NASA is giving back to me as the average citizen.

  4. katherine
    June 8th, 2011 at 02:55 | #6

    Wow, Thanks for sharing

  5. June 8th, 2011 at 02:59 | #7

    I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it is awesome.

  6. June 8th, 2011 at 04:15 | #8

    Awesome!!!

  7. June 8th, 2011 at 04:26 | #9

    Looks like the ones from that movie, 2012.

    • dpendick
      June 8th, 2011 at 09:40 | #10

      Nooooooohhhhhh! Not 2012 again!

  8. BlogDog
    June 8th, 2011 at 07:17 | #11

    Sun fart!
    (my apologies for the descent into crassness – but it is what I thought when I watched the eruption)

    • dpendick
      June 8th, 2011 at 09:42 | #12

      Well, it IS a gaseous emission, so I suppose you are on the right track. But it’s like thousands of degrees hot, so that might hurt.

  9. June 8th, 2011 at 07:27 | #13

    Dear Sun,

    please don’t kill us.

    Sincerely,

    Earth.

    • dpendick
      June 8th, 2011 at 09:42 | #14

      I pardon you! –Sun

  10. Brian
    June 8th, 2011 at 08:34 | #15

    How far was the material ejected into space? How many earths would fit in that “hole”?

  11. dpendick
    June 8th, 2011 at 09:50 | #16

    @Brian
    It’s hard to exactly say how many Earth masses were ejected, but certainly it is “many.” To get an idea of the monumental scale of this, check out the Sun-Earth comparison I made in this post:
    http://geeked.gsfc.nasa.gov/?p=5651

    Amazing, huh?

  12. George Free
    June 9th, 2011 at 11:41 | #17

    Will this result in Aurora Borealis for the Nothern United States?

    • dpendick
      June 9th, 2011 at 12:04 | #18

      It’s possible. Keep watching spaceweather.com for announcements.

  13. Carol
    June 9th, 2011 at 18:58 | #19

    Spectacular! Thanks for sharing!

  14. June 10th, 2011 at 13:13 | #20

    @Nick
    Thanks for the comment. I am very glad you enjoyed the commentary. It is very exciting to share what I and my colleagues do and I look forward to making many more videos. I do this in my spare time outside of my work at NASA. All the comments and questions around the video are great and I am working hard to get to them all. Best, Alex

  15. Michael Munsey
    June 10th, 2011 at 15:00 | #21

    Best that I have seen yet. Thank you..

  16. June 11th, 2011 at 01:14 | #22

    Wuao, it`s fantastic the Nuclear reactions of the Sun!!!… Charles Escalante!!!…

  17. Robert James Vidal
    June 12th, 2011 at 16:31 | #23

    Moments before the explosion, I am not sure how long it occurred in actual time there seems to be something falling towards the source’s center arriving at a nearly 45 degree angle. I am not to familiar with how a sun works so I can not tell if that is a form of magnetic energy or possibly foreign material entering the atmosphere, but it can be seen far more easily in the closer view on this website.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/06/07/the-sun-lets-loose-a-huge-explosion/

    I watched it several times and there does not seem to be anything coming from any other angle.

    • dpendick
      June 12th, 2011 at 19:26 | #24

      I can’t quite see anything coming IN to the solar atmosphere, sorry. But it could be some apparent motion due to magnetic fields.

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