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.
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Juan Martinez Sykora
One of the main drivers of the Sun's activity is emergence of magnetic flux into the solar atmosphere. This movie shows an eruption of a twisted magnetic flux tube structure which is 12 times larger than Earth. Material is lifted with this eruption through magnetic forces. Note that the twist and mass in the center of the eruption produce a dip in the center of the magnetic flux tube. The brief drop in brightness over the whole field of view in the middle of the movie is caused by the absorption of the Sun's ultraviolet light by the Earth's atmosphere. This occurs because IRIS, which sees the Sun continuously for almost 8 month per year, is almost in eclipse season. IRIS' eclipse season runs from November through the middle of February.