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Holy-the-Sun-is-exploding, Batman!


Click the image to see NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory article on the event - and FRAKKING AMAZING VIDEOS.

An almost unimaginably huge mushroom of belched plasma exploded from the Sun and almost immediately plummeted back onto the surface yesterday, launching perhaps the largest amount of solar material into space ever recorded. The solar flare itself was only considered a "moderate" event (sorry, but the cell-phone network will likely survive), though the volume of the eruption was the most we've ever seen. Space observatories in the past year recorded about 70 such solar flares, each roughly ten times weaker than "extreme" flares, of which only two have occurred since 2007.

What shocked scientists was the unusual amount of material that bubbled up, expanded, and collapsed over roughly half the surface area of the Sun. The event's simultaneous launch of particles into space is called a coronal mass ejection.

"This totally caught us by surprise. There wasn't much going on with this spot, but as it came from behind the Sun, all of a sudden there was a flare and huge ejection of particles," said NASA astrophysicist Phillip Chamberlin. "We've never seen a CME this enormous." That's what she said! (Apologies, but someone had to....)

Chris

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
carmy_w
Jun. 8th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
WOW.

Well, if John Ringo does happen to be right, that should take care of all the cooling from the last year of nearly no solar activity!
Of course, solar flares may have an effect on the temperature of the planet, but I have this feeling that it's sort of the wooden stick match to global warming's 30 foot bonfire.

And holding my nose and weeping at the pun!
mckitterick
Jun. 9th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
Yeah, we're coming out of a long period of solar calm and heading into an 11-year active period. Hope you've enjoyed those wireless devices while we still had 'em!
silk_noir
Jun. 8th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
Not in the face, not in the face!!
mckitterick
Jun. 9th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
:-D
hippie_mamabear
Jun. 9th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
Hawt.
mckitterick
Jun. 9th, 2011 12:09 am (UTC)
You said it!
saffronhare
Jun. 9th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
bear with me
Okay, so the bumblebees had their alien mother species build a space station on Mars, from which they are instigating solar flares that'll disable all the wireless devices on earth and make it possible to rebuild their population.

It could happen.

Edited at 2011-06-09 02:28 am (UTC)
mckitterick
Jun. 9th, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)
Re: bear with me
That explains it all: This massive eruption, the station on Mars... you're onto something!
professormass
Jun. 10th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
I had a coronal mass ejection once, but my wife said it was okay, it happens to everyone.
mckitterick
Jun. 13th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
ba-da-boom, tsch!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )