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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, 5 year video

  1. Feb 16, 2015 #1


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    I didn't know where to post this, but, this video makes my eyes water.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2015 #2
    Pretty wild, thanks for the share!
  4. Feb 16, 2015 #3


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    I think I mentioned that I went to see "Interstellar", just to watch the graphics.
    I think NASA should release a 90 minute version of this on IMAX.
    I'd pay $20 for that. (+ $20 for popcorn!) :biggrin:

    ps. According to my memory, I've never been to an IMAX show. hmmm... google, google, google. Ah ha!
    I was there!
  5. Feb 16, 2015 #4


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    Thanks Om :)

    I have been saving daily solar images from the net for almost 20 years
    initially from SOHO when it came online somewhere around 1994-95 and now taken over by SDO

    it's given me a big library of solar activity over the years :)

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  6. Feb 17, 2015 #4


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    20 years! :bugeye:
    So, I imagine that you understand some of the incomprehensible things going on.

    I found the Goddard YouTube page, and watched about 10 more videos.
    The 3 year SDO video, was dreadful. It was like watching a Phillip Glass song. Interesting for about 10 seconds, and then you want to poke your eyes out.

    Probably the most informative, was NASA | X-Class: A Guide to Solar Flares

    Though I didn't much care for two of their comments:

    "A solar flare, is basically an explosion on the surface of the sun..."
    An explosion? What the heck is exploding?

    'Flares happen, when the powerful magnetic fields, in and around the sun, reconnect."
    How can magnetic fields become "un-connected" in the first place?
    Or did the narrator mean "connect"? And what would that mean?

    I did find a refreshing comment on another NASA site: 3D Coronal Magnetic Fields
    "An outstanding problem is our lack of understanding about how the Sun chooses different field lines to populate with hot coronal plasma."

    Good! And if I had anything to do with it, it would stay that way.
  7. Feb 17, 2015 #5


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    hahaha yup ... a really bad response

    this is sorta closer, it does have to do with disconnection and reconnection of magnetic fields .... primarily the disconnection of

    OK lets look at this segment of the sun from today's image ....


    OK, I have put some magnetic N and S polarities on there ( don't worry at this time if they are actually opposite --- its just for demonstration purposes)

    You can see the loops of plasma outlining the field lines between the N and S regions ( just like a bar magnet under paper and iron filings on top) ....
    There will be sunspots there that we cant quite see yet as they are on the limb. There's massive amounts of energy being "held" within those magnetic fields
    The sunspots are not stationary, they are moving around, coming and going on the surface of the sun. This causes twists and contortions in the magnetic field.
    There are times when the field gets so contorted that it snaps ( breaks) ie. becomes un-connected. When that happens, all that energy being contained by the field is suddenly released and we have a solar flare with all that plasma and EM radiation being blasted out into space.

    Once that energy is released, the magnetic fields reconnect ( become restored) between the spot N and S regions

    That's the real basics :)

  8. Feb 17, 2015 #6


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    Just basic enough for me to understand all it.
    That sounds like a fun experiment to do in my kitchen.
    I have several hundred Bucky Cubes stuck to my fridge that have been antsy for something new and bizarre to do.


    ps. Thanks a million, Dave!
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