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 powerful flare comes to an end
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Tiago M. D. Pereira, UiO
On Feb 10th, 2018, IRIS observed the final minutes of a powerful solar flare. These energetic events occur in solar active regions, where strong magnetic fields move up from the interior to the surface. In this movie we see images of the late stages of a C5 flare. The bright and hot regions are the locations where the energy release took place. As the IRIS scan progresses, they cool down and gradually disappear. Two large and slightly darker roundish features at the edges of the movie are sunspots. They lie at the edges of the flare brightenings and can be identified by the concentric lines in their borders. In these IRIS images they are not so prominent because in the higher atmosphere the temperature difference between sunspots and surrounding plasma is not as high as at the solar surface.