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NASA SDO - An Active Star, June 27, 2012

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Published on Jun 27, 2012

Today's Sun shows a little bit of everything.

Early in the morning of June 27, 2012 a couple of C-class solar flares erupted from the active region AR1513. This region is just now coming over the eastern limb of the Sun.

Almost on the other side of the Sun a big and beautiful prominence erupted. A solar prominence is channeled and sometimes held above the Sun's surface by the Sun's magnetic field. A quiescent prominence typically lasts about a month, and may erupt in a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) expelling hot gas into the Solar System. The energy mechanism that creates a solar prominence is still a topic of research. As the Sun progresses toward Solar Maximum in the next few years, solar activity like eruptive prominences are expected to become more common.

Also having just come over the eastern limb is a big coronal hole. This feature lets a stream of high-speed solar wind escape. That's because coronal holes are areas where the Sun's magnetic field opens up and that allows solar wind to escape. Since this coronal hole is positioned as such, the solar wind will reach Earth during the first couple of days in July and provide high-latitude aurorae.

Credit: NASA SDO

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