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.
- Video of the Sun Eruption
- Gallery - Amazing Auroras of 2010, Sun Storms
- Space Station Crew Safe From Sun's Wrath as FlareStrikes