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.
A Small White Light Flare
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Jean-Pierre Wuelser
IRIS observed this small (C-class) solar flare at three different ultraviolet wavelengths, each showing hot gas at different heights in the solar atmosphere. The three types of images were color coded and combined into this false color movie. Most of the flare action happens in the chromosphere and transition region, with ribbons and loops shown in blue and green. The lowest layer, or photosphere (displayed in red) shows mostly sunspots, but around 15:24:23, it unexpectedly lights up for a brief moment. This white light emission was previously thought to occur only in very large flares, but is now found in smaller ones as well.