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.
Flare Ribbons and Loops
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Paul Bryans
Solar flares are the most impulsive releases of energy on the Sun. They can result in the ejection of high-energy particles that can have a profound effect on Earth. However, we still do not fully understand what triggers these events. Observations from IRIS can help to solve this problem. IRIS caught this M-class flare in June 2015. The flare causes a sudden brightening between two sunspots, in a typical "ribbon" pattern. Notice also the formation of post-flare loops between the sunspots with plasma flowing down towards the footpoints.