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 Fierce M1.8 solar flare
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA
The most energetic and explosive events on the Sun are so-called flares. They represent impulsive releases of magnetic energy, which is seen as a swift flash of light. Solar flares can lead to the ejection of high-energy particles that sometimes seriously affect navigation and communication systems on Earth. On 11-March-2015, IRIS captured a fierce M1.8 class flare which resulted in a vigorous release of the solar material. The event is visible at the beginning of the movie. Bright pixels that stands out clearly closer to the end of the movie are caused by high energy particles hitting our CCD camera while IRIS was passing through the Earth's radiation belts.