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 hyperactive active region
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Sean Brannon
Active regions are locations where magnetic field from the Sun's interior has erupted through the surface. As their name implies, they are regions of increased activity, and can produce the largest explosions in the solar system (called solar flares) and eruptions of plasma high above the Sun. This active region, named AR 12297, was a prodigious example, producing dozens of flares after it rotated into IRIS's view. This IRIS observation captured five of them, including two "major" M-class flares about halfway through.