US space agency NASA has released another video of the Sun created using a series of photographs taken by its Solar Dynamics Observatory to show off our star’s majestic magnetic arches.
The series of photographs that have been used to make the video were captured by SDO during a 12 hour period on September 29, NASA revealed in a press note. In the video [embedded below], a constant pattern of looping of magnetic arches on the surface of Sun can be seen. With these set of images and many more, SDO continues to enable the space agency as well as thousands of astronomers and physicists to understand the physics and chemistry that govern the various phenomena at the Sun.
“Massive arches of solar material brighten and stream over an active region on the sun’s surface in this animation of imagery captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, on Sept. 29, 2016”, notes NASA in a press note.
According to NASA, the Sun’s surface is laden with active regions which are centres of particularly strong and complex magnetic fields. Charged solar particles move along these magnetic fields and in the process create the majestic magnetic arches. NASA also explains that Sun’s surface isn’t solid, but instead it is made of plasma – a state which is like gas but wherein electrons and ions have separated thereby creating a super-hot mix of charged particles. The movement of these charged particles results in creation of strong magnetic fields and when the particles move along these magnetic fields, they create these stunning visuals as shown in the video.
Despite years of study, physicists are yet to completely understand what goes on inside and on the surface of the Sun and how its magnetic field is generated. Understanding of this process will enable us to understand in greater detail what impact the Sun has on various celestial bodies of our Solar System including our Earth.
To show us the gigantic nature of these magnetic arches, NASA technicians have added photo of the Earth. SDO captured the series of photographs which make up the video in extreme ultraviolet light. The imagery is colorized here in gold for better visibility.