Coronal Rain falls fearsome hot upon the Sun

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in space recorded this awesome event on the sun last July: NASA’s SDO Shows A Little Rain On the Sun – NASA – Feb.20.13

From the caption:

Eruptive events on the Sun can be wildly different. Some come just with a solar flare, some with an additional ejection of solar material called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and some with complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona.

On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced all three. A moderately powerful solar flare exploded on the Sun’s lower right hand limb, sending out light and radiation. Next came a CME, which shot off to the right out into space. And then, the Sun treated viewers to one of its dazzling magnetic displays — a phenomenon known as coronal rain.

Over the course of the next day, hot plasma in the corona cooled and condensed along strong magnetic fields in the region. Magnetic fields, themselves, are invisible, but the charged plasma is forced to move along the lines, showing up brightly in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstroms, which highlights material at a temperature of about 50,000 Kelvin. This plasma acts as a tracer, helping scientists watch the dance of magnetic fields on the Sun, outlining the fields as it slowly falls back to the solar surface.

The footage in this video was collected by the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s AIA instrument. SDO collected one frame every 12 seconds, and the movie plays at 30 frames per second, so each second in this video corresponds to 6 minutes of real time. The video covers 12:30 a.m. EDT to 10:00 p.m. EDT on July 19, 2012.

Credit: NASA SDO
Music: “Thunderbolt” by Lars Leonhard, courtesy of artist.

Spacevidcast 6.07: How you can help mine asteroids

The latest Spacevidcast program is now available on line: How you can help mine asteroids – 6.07 – Spacevidcast

In Space News we have SpaceX’s CRS-2 Mission to the International Space Station, Golden Spike Company video content, Curiosity Rover is back on Track and Soyuz will be trying a new short approach to the space station.

Isaac Stott of Stott Space joins us for a live Skype interview. We talk about who Stott Space is and how you can be involved in the NewSpace revolution.

Don’t let the conversation stop here! We continue our interview in Spacevidcast After Dark which is available to epic subscribers. Not a subscriber? Consider joining now for as little as $10/mo or $100/ye. Your membership not only gets you access to exclusive content, but it also helps to keep Spacevidcast broadcasting! Check out for more information.


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FISO: Combined SEP-Chemical for manned Mars missions

The latest presentation to the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) study group is now posted in the FISO Working Group Presentations Archive. Both slides (pdf) and audio (mp3) are available for the talk, Combined SEP-Chemical for Piloted Mars Missions, Steve Oleson , NASA GRC – March 6, 2013.

Unfortunately, all the plans he discusses rely on the SLS vehicle, which will cost billions to fly and so there will be no funding left for projects like this.


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