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  • richardmitnick 9:11 am on August 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESA SOHO,   

    From ESA: “Solar eruption larger than Earth” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency

    01/08/2016
    No writer credit

    1
    SOHO (ESA & NASA)

    ESA/SOHO
    ESA/SOHO

    A gigantic ribbon of hot gas bursts upwards from the Sun, guided by a giant loop of invisible magnetism. This remarkable image was captured on 27 July 1999 by SOHO, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Earth is superimposed for comparison and shows that from top to bottom the loop of gas, or prominence, extends about 35 times the diameter of our planet into space.

    A prominence is an extension of gas that arches up from the surface of the Sun. Prominences are sculpted by magnetic fields that are generated inside the Sun, and then burst through the surface, propelling themselves into the solar atmosphere.

    The Sun is predominantly made of plasma – an electrified gas of electrons and ions. Being electrically charged, the ions respond to magnetic fields. So when the magnetic loops reach up into the solar atmosphere, huge streams of plasma are attracted to fill them, creating the prominences that can last for weeks or months.

    Spectacular prominences like this one are not particularly common, a few being detected each year. When they start to collapse, mostly the gas ‘drains’ down the magnetic field lines back into the Sun. Occasionally, however, they become unstable and release their energy into space. These eruptive prominences fling out a huge quantity of plasma that solar physicists call a coronal mass ejection. Solar flares are also associated with coronal mass ejections.

    If this plasma hits Earth it can disrupt satellites, power grids and communications. It also causes the aurora to shine in the polar skies.

    Taken by SOHO’s ultraviolet telescope, this image shows ionised helium at a temperature of about 70 000ºC.

    A version of the image without the Earth for comparison can be found here.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 5:18 am on April 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESA SOHO,   

    From GIZMODO: “Stunning Solar Eclipse Image Looks Like the Eye of our Solar System” 

    GIZMODO bloc

    GIZMODO

    4.12.16
    Attila Nagy

    The March 9th total solar eclipse looked stunning at the time. But now a team of researchers has put together an even more impressive image of the solar corona, that makes the event look like something from Lord of the Rings.

    The picture actually combines two images of the solar corona: The red section was viewed from space, acquired by the Sun-orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft, while the blue part was viewed from the ground. The overall effect resembles the Eye of Mordor—or should that be the Eye of the Solar System?

    Here’s the uncropped image in its full glory:

    1
    Image Credits: J. Vilinga (Angola, IAP), LASCO, NRL, SOHO, ESA, NASA; Processing: R. Wittich; Composition & Copyright: S. Koutchmy (IAP, CNRS)

    ESA/SOHO
    ESA/SOHO

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Stem Education Coalition

    “We come from the future.”

    GIZMOGO pictorial

     
  • richardmitnick 7:01 am on March 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESA SOHO,   

    From ESA: “Ultraviolet image shows the Sun’s intricate atmosphere” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency

    21/03/2016
    SOHO (ESA & NASA)

    1

    This eerie coloured orb is nothing less than the life-giver of the Solar System. It is the Sun, the prodigious nuclear reactor that sits at the heart of our planetary system and supplies our world with all the light and heat needed for us to exist.

    To the human eye, the Sun is a burning light in the sky. It is dangerous to look at it directly unless some special filtering is used to cut out most of the light pouring from its incandescent surface.

    However, to the electronic eyes of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), the Sun appears a place of delicate beauty and detail.

    ESA/SOHO
    ESA/SOHO

    SOHO’s extreme-ultraviolet telescope was used to take these images. This telescope is sensitive to four wavelengths of extreme-ultraviolet light, and the three shortest were used to build this image. Each wavelength has been colour-coded to highlight the different temperatures of gas in the Sun.

    The gas temperature is traced by iron atoms, where rising temperature strips increasing numbers of electrons from around the nucleus.

    An iron atom usually contains 26 electrons. In this image, blue shows iron at a temperature of 1 million degrees celsius, having lost 8 or 9 electrons. Yellow shows iron at 1.5 million degrees (11 lost electrons) and red shows iron at 2.5 million degrees (14 lost electrons).

    These atoms all exist in the outer part of the Sun’s atmosphere known as the corona. How the corona is heated to millions of degrees remains the subject of scientific debate.

    The constant monitoring of the Sun’s atmosphere with SOHO, and with other Sun-staring spacecraft like the Solar Dynamics Observatory and Proba-2, is allowing solar physicists to build up a detailed picture of the way the corona behaves.

    NASA/SDO
    NASA/SDO

    ESA/Proba-2
    ESA/Proba-2

    This gives them insight into the physical processes that give rise to the corona and its behaviour.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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