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.
Flares and peacock tails
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Milan Gosic (LMSAL/BAERI)
On 21-Jul-2016, IRIS observed a C1.2 class flare: a sudden release of magnetic energy which leads to heating of the chromosphere and corona. The flare is visible as strong transient brightening at the beginning of the movie. This fierce flaring region produced three trailing microflares at the same position. In their surroundings, IRIS revealed a wide range of solar phenomena such as dynamic loops and light walls (also known as "peacock tails"). Light walls appear in the movie as oscillating ribbons with bright top edge. They are formed by plasma ejected from the so-called light bridges - regions within sunspots where magnetic fields are not strong enough to inhibit convection.