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Solar Tsunami Revealed in New Photo

Solar Tsunami Revealed in New Photo
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory snapped this multi-wavelength extreme ultraviolet image of the sun, showing the Aug. 1 solar eruption that blasted charged particles toward Earth. The Class C3 solar flare triggered stunning aurora displays and geomagnetic storms on Earth that lasted about 12 hours. (Image credit: NASA/SDO/AIA [<a href=http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/sun-eruption-solar-tsunami-100806.html>Full Story</a>])

A vividnew photo of the sun has revealed a new view of a solar eruption in the star'snorthern hemisphere that blasted charged particles in Earth's direction thisweek, according to NASA officials.

Thesolar storm, which NASA called a "solar tsunami" in a Fridaystatement, occurred Aug. 1. It was a Class C3 solar flare in which almost the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in awave of tumultuous activity. [New solar tsunami photo.]

Thesolar particles began striking Earth's magnetic field Tuesday and sparked apowerful 12-hour geomagnetic storm and spectacular aurora displays. The flarewas not powerful enough to pose a radiationthreat to astronauts living on the International Space Station, NASAofficials have said.

Thisnew multi-wavelength extreme ultraviolet photo from NASA's Solar DynamicsObservatory shows the sun in mid-eruption.

Theflare is visible as the white area on the upper left, and the ensuing solartsunami is the wave-like structure in the upper right. Magnetic filaments canalso be seen coming off the surface of the sun.

Thedifferent colors in the image represent different temperatures of gas.

Theeruption, called a coronal mass ejection, was spotted by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory , which captures high-definition views of the sun ata variety of wavelengths. SDO was launched in February and peers deep into thelayers of the sun, investigating the mysteries of its inner workings.

Analystsbelieve a second solar flare could come on the heels of the first flare, andcould re-energize the fading geomagnetic storm and spark a new round of brightaurora displays.

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Space.com Staff

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