New and amazing images captured by the New Solar Telescope (NST) at the Big Bear Observatory in New Jersey, showed a solar flare and a ‘coronal rain’ that were captured in June from last year. Also, the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory captured new images of a mid-level solar flare that caused a radio blackout, due for the powerful burst of radiation that it throws.
Also, another three solar observatories have captured the most comprehensive observations of an electromagnetic phenomenon called a “current sheet”, strengthening the evidence that the understanding of solar flares is correct. The Solar flares are known to travel at the speed of light, what means that scientists had got no warning of when they’re coming. That’s why researchers are working on pinning down the process that creates solar flares.
The pictures are helping scientists to reveal some of the most important puzzles of solar physics and have revealed previously unseen phenomenon, where bright spots within the flares can be seen. Taken by the New Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Observatory, New Jersey, the images show a solar flare and ‘coronal rain’ falling back towards the sun in June last year.
The multi-faceted view of the December 2013 flare was made possible by three solar-watching missions: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), NASA’s Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and Hinode, a collaboration between the space agencies of Japan, the US, Britain and Europe.
This sunspot was actually visible from the ground without the need of a magnification over the past week-and-a-half. It’s currently large enough to be able to hold almost five Earths inside of it. It’s expected that the sunspot will rotate out of view over the right side of the sun by April 20.
What’s the Coronal Rain?
The Coronal rain is plasma, which consists on super-heated, electrically charged gas that condenses in the cooling phase shortly after the solar flare. In the moments after a solar flare it showers the visible surface of the sun where it lands after the explosions.
These events that were captured have been proved to be really difficult in the past, as the signatures of solar flares are really hard to detect. The new images are the highest resolution observations of solar flare activity ever recorded.