Wow!

This is just way too cool not to share.

27 seconds of something I have never seen before; and in remarkably high resolution to boot. When you think about it you realize that this whirling dervish of hot plasma is just huge… I’d say it’s quite likely to be nearly as big as the Earth!

Uploaded by on Feb 16, 2012

http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/potw.php?v=item&id=87

This 30 hour time lapse sequence was recorded this month by the obviously awesome Solar Dynamics Observatory which is run by the Goddard Space Flight Center. If you go to the web page for this video, (linked just above), you can download some nice copies in Quicktime and mpeg (and a tif picture) without all that nasty YouTube compression.

Here’s what they say…

As if it could not make up it’s mind . . . darker, cooler plasma slid and shifted back and forth above the Sun’s surface seen here for 30 hours (Feb. 7-8, 2012) in extreme ultraviolet light. An active region rotating into view provides a bright backdrop to the gyrating streams of plasma. The particles are being pulled this way and that by competing magnetic forces. They are tracking along strands of magnetic field lines. This kind of detailed solar observation with high-resolution frames and a four-minute cadence was not possible until SDO, which launched two years ago on Feb. 11, 2010. So it’s our 2nd Anniversary!

Edit to add: I thought I would include this jpg of the tif image that you can download for those who can’t watch videos, whether you’re at work or are device-challenged.

Solar Dark Matter by SDO/GSFC/NASA

Go NASA!

Peace.

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