NPR logo The Angry Sun

The Angry Sun

NASA YouTube

On a day when snow is falling and the sky is grey here in upstate New York I thought a close up view of the Sun, our nearest star, might be just the thing to warm the heart.

The clip caption puts it as well as I can.

This close up of an active region on the Sun that produced a powerful X-class flare was captured by the orbiting TRACE satellite. The movie that shows the evolution of Active Region 9906 over about four hours. The glowing gas flowing around the relatively stable magnetic field loops above the Sun's photosphere has a temperature of over ten million degrees Celsius.

Magnetic fields are ubiquitious on the surface of stars like the Sun and are generated in deeper layers through a combination of rotational and buoyant rising motions.

This kind of thing goes on every day a mere 93 million miles away from us. Remarkable.



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