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Mesmerizing loops of magnetism on the Sun ... and a flare

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Uploaded on Jan 28, 2012

[SET THIS TO HD!]

More info about this video is on my blog (goes live Sunday at 13:00 UTC): http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/bad...

Towering, complex, interweaving loops of magnetism erupt from the Sun's surface as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This video covers 60 hours of solar activity, which includes the massive X2 flare on January 27, 2012. You can see the field lines get tangled and more complex, then KABLAM! The field lines explode, blasting out the flare, and in the aftermath they become calmer and simpler, but still incredibly beautiful.

I also created a video showing the flare itself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=166qIT...

Credit: NASA/SDO/Helioviewer.org

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