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The Sun Lashes Out a Very Complex Coronal Mass Ejection
The Sun Lashes Out a Very Complex Coronal Mass Ejection
4 Jan 2002
(Source: Goddard Space Flight Center)

Goddard Space Flight Center

Happy New Year!

The Sun unleashed a powerful eruption today and the SOHO instruments recorded maybe the most complex coronal mass ejection (CME) seen since the launch of SOHO six years ago. The CME was initiated by an eruptive prominence on the NE solar limb and is therefore not heading towards the Earth.

The images from the LASCO coronagraph (see link below) show a very rapidly expanding coronal mass ejection (CME) blasting billions of tons of particles out from the Sun at about 3.5 million kilometers per hour. The complex structures are caused by magnetic field structures that were ejected from the Sun.

The Sun, blocked by an occulting disk, is represented by the white circle. The bright object just to the right of the Sun (and mov ing from right to left in the movies) is the planet Venus. The bright horisontla streaks is an artifact of the LASCO detector since the planet is too bright for the detector.

Our HOTSHOT story will soon be posted (and replace the old one) on: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/hotshots/

Until then all images (in different resolutions) and raw mpegs can be found here:
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime-images.html

Regards Paal Brekke
SOHO Deputy Project Scientist (European Space Agency - ESA)

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Last Updated: 7 Jan 2002