Now You See It, Now You Don’t

A large “blemish” can be seen on the lower right part of the upper photo, but not on the lower photo taken a day later. Don’t you wish face cream worked like that? Well, maybe not; this “blemish” is over 100,000 miles long, weighs on the order of billions of tons, and was explosively ejected by extreme magnetic activity at a speeds measured in hundreds of miles per second. (Yes, that is miles per second, not miles per hour!).

Known as a coronal mass ejection, this activity happens relatively frequently on the Sun, and if directed towards Earth, can disrupt communications, damage satellite electronics, and in extreme cases damage electrical power grids on the ground. Fortunately this one is not headed Earthward, but would probably not cause severe damage if it were. It is one of the many reasons that nerds like me love to watch the Sun on a daily basis, weather permitting.

NOTE: These images were taken through a solar telescope with specifically designed filters for safe for viewing the Sun. Never look directly at the Sun or use telescopes or binoculars that are not properly filtered for safe solar viewing. Severe, permanent eye damage will result.

For a video of this explosive ejection taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory which is in earth orbit, see: https://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/dailymov/movie.php?q=20230120_1024_0304

#sun #coronalmassejection #solarfilament

Published by eskildoodle1

Retired physician with interests in writing, photography, music, and astronomy. I have written multiple stories of life experiences, travel, and astronomy, and have been playing the ukulele for 10 years. My wife Fairy and I travel frequently to the Pacific Islands of Hawaii, and French Polynesia, and I have learned several of their native-language songs. This blog will be a forum to share experiences with family and friends.

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