Sunny Face

The most recent (7:15 pm CST 12-10-2010) AIA image of the Sun by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Looks like a face. 🙂 That is all. Image courtesy SDO (NASA) and the AIA consortium. (Oh, and congrats to the SDO team for their image being chosen as one of LIFE’s pictures of the year! w00tw00t!)

A Transient Transit

Almost forgotten today in all the excitement over the giant prominence seen by SDO, the Moon also had a small role to play over the weekend: its lunar transit of the Sun in front of SDO’s cameras! Although brief and not captured by all the AIA instruments, AIA 304 did manage to glimpse a peek…

Monster Sun

Everyone’s abuzz about what SDO is watching this morning: a huge solar prominence and filament wrapping partway around the southwestern hemisphere of the Sun, literally hundreds of thousands of miles long! This is a section of the latest image from SDO’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) 304 camera, which best captures details about the sun’s outer…

A Sinuous Strand

Featured on the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s Pick of the Week, this image from the observatory’s AIA 304 camera shows a gigantic filament snaking around the Sun’s southern hemisphere, hundreds of thousands of miles of magnetically-contained plasma made visible in extreme ultraviolet light. Filaments are bands of relatively cooler, denser solar material caught up in magnetic…

Just Passing By

Holy lunar photobomb, Batman! In another brief occultation event the Moon snuck in front of SDO’s cameras on Saturday, November 6, this time passing across the orbiting observatory’s view of the Sun’s southern pole and southeastern limb in a diagonal motion. This happened previously on October 7… seems like the Moon doesn’t much like being…

Flare Up

I caught this image this morning on the SDO site…it shows an eruption of plasma from the Sun’s photosphere that stretches out several tens of thousands of miles…the hooked loop at the end could easily encircle the entire Earth! This image is from about 11am or so, within a couple of hours the structure had…

A Pair of Flares

  A twisting pair of prominences erupt almost 50,000 miles above the surface of the sun in this image from SDO, taken today, October 21, 2010. This is a composite of two imaging wavelength filter images (AIA 304 and 171), combined to show surface (photosphere) detail as well as lower atmosphere (chromosphere) detail. The scale…

The Sun and the Moon

From an SDO image chosen as the Pick of the Week for October 15th, this shot is almost too cool to be real…but it is! As the New Moon passed between the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the Sun, the spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit got a view of the Moon’s silhouetted disc passing across its normally-unobstructed…

Prominence Earth

A serpentine solar prominence snakes thousands of miles through space towards an unsuspecting Earth! This apocalyptic sci-fi scene is made up of two combined images of the sun from NASA’s SDO sapcecraft, acquired today September 25, 2010, superimposed and edited to show both surface (chromosphere) detail as well as coronal features, and an image of…

Solar Maelstrom

A powerful sunspot creates a spinning whirlpool of magnetic activity around itself in this detail from an SDO image (AIA 304) taken today, June 24. Sunspots are darker areas on the sun’s surface (photosphere) where a “bubble” of magnetic fields have risen from the interior and “pushed aside” the hotter layers at the surface to…

As The Day Is Long

Happy Summer Solstice! A this is the day that the Earth’s northern hemisphere receives the longest amount of sunlight during the course of the year, I thought it only appropriate to feature a pic of the Sun! Above is a detail from a high-resolution image taken today by the Solar Dynamics Observatory showing some very…

Coronal Loops

Seen in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, bright coronal loops erupt from the edges of a sunspot in this image, a detail of a larger image captured by the SDO spacecraft earlier today. (Click to see the full-sized version.) Coronal loops are plasma-filled “tubes” that arc upwards from the Sun’s surface and reconnect at both ends. They…