NASA Sun Blast Video & Solar Winds On Mercury

On May 2, 2013 by Lazer Horse

NASA - Solar Dynamic Observatory - Sun Plasma New Years Eve 2012

I came across this video today whilst perusing the ‘space’ section of the internerd. It’s a time lapse video put together from genuine data captured by NASA‘s Solar Dynamics Observatory. It shows a massive sun blast that happened on new year’s eve, 2012 and it looks mighty impressive.

I never know how much of these types of reconstructions are artistry, and how much of it is genuinely what it would have looked like if you were in the vicinity (not that you’d want to be, of course). But I’m willing to suspend my disbelief if NASA have put their name to it, they seem to know what they’re doing.

To give it a bit of scale, the burst of plasma was more than 20 times longer than the width of earth, that’s no mere splash; but, as far as NASA’s concerned, this was just a minor eruption. Magnetic forces twisting and shearing caused the plasma to be shot out towards open space but there wasn’t quite enough energy for the spurt to overcome the sun’s huge gravitational field, so it fell back to the surface.

I just like watching it. It’s pretty.



And, if you’re in the mood for more solar jiggery pokery, NASA will not disappoint. Below is a short animation of the interaction between high velocity (400 km/s) solar winds and the magnetic field of Mercury. It’s like a giant online gambling casino in the sky:






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