Super Close-Up Video of Sun Belching Into Space

By Carl Engelking | May 30, 2014 12:42 pm

When the sun gets a little gassy, it sure puts on a grand display.

NASA just released this footage of a coronal mass ejection (CME) bursting off the side of the sun, taken by its newest sun observer IRIS on May 9. CMEs are massive clouds of charged particles that are ejected by the sun over several hours.

In this video, solar material is racing from the sun at speeds of about 1.5 million miles per hour. For perspective, the field of view is about five Earths wide and a little over seven Earths tall.

Sun Spotter

IRIS was launched in June 2013 to monitor the lowest levels of the sun’s atmosphere in high resolution, and this is the first CME captured by the instrument. Observing a CME is a tricky undertaking since scientists need to point IRIS in a specific direction at least a day in advance.

The line moving across the middle of the video is the entrance slit for IRIS’s spectrograph, an instrument that can split light into its many wavelengths. Scientists use this technique to measure temperature, velocity and density of the solar material behind the slit.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: sun
  • Георги Кънев

    Nice measurement!

  • http://www.worksmedia.com.au/ John Romaine

    Slip slop slap

  • NEVILLE M.

    Regarding the remark about Field Of View ….. That refers to The Close Up Shot of The Sun: Not the Full View of The Sun in The Video. The Sun is actually about 110 Times The Diameter of The Earth.

    • JohannaHolkhamred321

      like
      Jacqueline implied I’m taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month
      on the computer . see post F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  • Susanne Kedrowitsch DeFinis

    if that comes our way we are toast

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Michael Keener

      CME’s come our way all the time, they cause the ‘Northern and Southern Lights’… the magnetosphere, part of gravity, protects us and relegates the CME’s to just a beautiful light show…a really, truly, bad one can cause a power black out once in a while…

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