Crazy Video From NASA of a Filament Eruption on the Sun

By Rebecca J. Rosen

An outburst on the sun on Friday caused some beautiful sights here on Earth last night.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captures this video of a filament eruption on the sun last Friday at 4:36 in the afternoon EDT. The segment of the video in 304 angstroms wavelength, during which the sun appears red, covers a period of time lasting three hours.

The explosion sent a wave of solar plasma, known as a coronal mass ejection, toward the Earth at a speed of 900 miles per second, resulting in a beautiful aurora over parts of the Northern Hemisphere last night, as shown in the picture below, from Whitehorse, Yukon, in Canada:

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NASA additionally provided a side-by-side comparison of four images of the filament explosion in different wavelengths (335, 171, 304 and 131 angstroms, starting in the upper-left hand corner and moving clockwise). Each wavelength corresponds with different temperatures in the solar material, giving scientists an understanding of how the explosion's dynamics.

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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/09/crazy-video-from-nasa-of-a-filament-eruption-on-the-sun/261954/