IRIS Movie of the Day
At least once a week a movie of the Sun taken by NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) is posted by one of the scientists operating the instrument.
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18 Aug 2016
Compact C-flare showing some twist
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Don Schmit
Solar flares occur when magnetic energy is violently released in the Sun's atmosphere. Magnetic fields can become twisted through the interaction between the Sun's convective motions and the magnetic field, and during a flare this energy is released through so-called magnetic reconnection. This movie shows a small flare that occurred close to the edge or limb of the Sun. After the flare is triggered we can see twisted field lines that unwind due to reconnection.