(Long) Picture of the Day: Protons Dance on a Solar Sensor

More

This little film, taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, at first looks like a relic of the early film era. Those little lines around the edge of the sun — those are scratches, right?

Wrong. Those are protons moving at half the speed of light.

On June 19, 2012, the sun let loose an “M7-class flare” that almost entered “X-territory” (the largest territory). Matching that flare was a coronal mass ejection on the orb’s other side. The protons dancing across the film are the result of both emissions.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:


Jump to comments
Presented by

Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

'Stop Telling Women to Smile'

An artist's campaign to end sexual harassment on the streets of NYC.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In