Pick of The Week
 
 

Seven Flares in Two Days (February 26, 2002)

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  • SOHO observed seven M-class flares erupting from the Sun in just two days, Feb. 21-22, 2002. The LASCO C2 video clip shows the coronal mass ejections (CMEs) associated with the flares as they blast through the Sun's corona. Flares are intense releases of energy from a localized region on the Sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation, energetic particles, and mass motions. The M-class flares are second in power to the strongest X-class variety. The spikes of radiation from each flare were registered in the plot above by the GOES spacecraft which orbits near the Earth. The X-rays, gamma-rays, and other light emitted by the flares sped from the Sun at the speed of light and arrived here in approximately 8 minutes; particles accelerated by CMEs take can take much longer as they spiral around interplanetary magnetic field lines. Just as the ionosphere protects from harmful X-, gamma-, and EUV radiation, our magnetosphere protects us from the energetic particles.

    Previous Picks of the Week SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.

    If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to steele.hill@gsfc.nasa.gov.

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