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COMPLEX ERUPTION ON THE SUN: On August 1st, the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in a tumult of activity. There was a C3-class solar flare, a solar tsunami, multiple filaments of magnetism lifting off the stellar surface, large-scale shaking of the solar corona, radio bursts, a coronal mass ejection and more. Click on the image to view just a fraction of the action:
The movie recorded by extreme UV cameras onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows an enormous magnetic filament breaking away from the sun. Some of the breakaway material is now en route to Earth in the form of a coronal mass ejection (CME, movie).
Seeing the sun erupt on such a global scale has galvanized the international community of solar physicists. Researchers are still sorting out the complex sequence of events and trying to understand why they all happened at once. Stay tuned for more movies and analyses in the days ahead