NASA Captures Close-up Details of Solar Storm for First Time

from NASA’s revolutionary solar observatory has captured rare footage of super-hot bubbles on the sun’s surface, known as coronal mass ejections. “The field of view seen here is about five Earths wide and about seven-and-a-half Earths tall,” NASA said in a description of the video, which shows the sun emitting flares into space. While coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are not rare themselves (there can be up to two or three CMEs per week depending on the sunspot cycle), this time is different – because for the first time, the process was caught on camera by NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS. The seven-foot ultraviolet telescope was launched into space in June 2013. It is able to peer into the lowest levels of the sun’s atmosphere to observe how solar material moves, gathers energy, and heats up. It then documents the details using higher resolution imaging than ever before.

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