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.
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2 Mar 2018
Solar Wildfire
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Charles Kankelborg, Montana State University
These bright flare ribbons on the Sun resemble a prairie fire, but spread at up to 25,000 miles per hour . In one hour, the flare released as much energy as all the terrestrial wildfires in the last ten thousand years. This energy comes not from burning biomass, but from the Sun's magnetic field. Fortunately, this 'fire' occurred 93 million miles away from Earth, where we could view it safely. Nevertheless, solar flares can cause space weather events ( that affect power grids, communications, and even airline travel on Earth.