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NASA | A First for IRIS: Observing a Gigantic Solar Eruption

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Published on May 30, 2014

A coronal mass ejection burst off the side of the sun on May 9, 2014. The giant sheet of solar material erupting was the first CME seen by NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS. The field of view seen here is about five Earth's wide and about seven and a half Earth's tall.

IRIS must commit to pointing at certain areas of the sun at least a day in advance, so catching a CME in the act involves some educated guesses and a little bit of luck.

The IRIS Observatory was designed by and the mission is managed by Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysics Laboratory. NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, provides mission operations and ground data systems. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the Explorers Program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.

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