Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Explosion on Sun Captured by the Hinode Spacecraft

This is what an X-class solar flare looks like as it erupts from sunspot 930. It is a tremendous explosion from the sun and is part of the most detailed movie of such phenomenon. The footage was taken by the Japanese Hinode spacecraft, which has been dubbed the Hubble Telescope for the Sun. The telescope can see features on the sun as small as 90 miles wide from its orbit 93 million miles away. On the left are animations of the flare zone of sunspot 930. The red arrows show the direction of the sunspot's magnetic field. The area shown is twice earth's size! Click on the image above to view the color video of the explosion.

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