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.
Plasma fireworks at the limb
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Lakshmi Pradeep Chitta
Solar flares are plasma eruptions due to a rapid release of magnetic energy in the solar atmosphere. During these flares, plasma in the solar atmosphere is heated to temperatures of several million Kelvin. At 15:52 UTC on 2014 August 29, IRIS observed a moderate, C4.3-class flare at the west limb of the Sun. This movie shows a violent plasma eruption associated with the flare. The top right-most panel is a slit-jaw time sequence showing the plasma motions in the plane of the sky. The top left panels display a selection of spectral lines emitted by plasma with temperatures in the range 10000 Kelvin to 10 million Kelvin, along the location marked by a thin vertical line in the slit-jaw sequence. These spectra provide information on the line-of-sight motions of the plasma.