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Rain on the sun

ImaGeo iconImaGeo
By Tom Yulsman
Feb 28, 2013 1:40 AMNov 20, 2019 2:35 AM


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http://youtu.be/YIHuk-vpdiI NASA recently released this video of a phenomenon called "coronal rain." It is astonishingly beautiful, and the scale of it is simply mind-boggling. If you haven't already seen it elsewhere (it has been making the rounds on Youtube), it's well worth stopping what you're doing and taking a look. Obviously, coronal rain isn't the liquid stuff that we experience here on Earth. Instead of water, it consists of plasma in the sun's corona. Because plasma is electrically conductive, it responds strongly to magnetic fields. And in the case of coronal rain, the plasma cools, condenses and aligns along solar magnetic field lines. This is what produced the incredible filamentary looping structures seen in the video. According to NASA, this event was particularly noteworthy. Here's an excerpt from the agency's description of what happened:

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 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.

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