3 Tiny Little Flares: Even Tiny Solar Flares on the Sun are Huge

“Tiny” = 10-20 Earths – On May 8, 2010, the sun produced several relatively small solar flares, C and B-class solar flares on the solar flare scale (much like the earthquake Richter scale). In particular, the sun produced 3 C-class flares, all of which were observed by the new Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). All of the flares, except for one B-class flare came from the same sunspot group (officially named by NOAA AR11069 or AR 1069 for short. Scientists usually call sunspot groups Active Regions (AR)). This video shows the 3 solar flares one after the other, first in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light then in the 171 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. 304 shows cooler solar material, about 60,000 degrees C while 171 is from material around 1 million degrees. SDO is still in the commissioning phase so these images are not the best quality, so even better pictures and movies are yet to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *