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.
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Magnus Woods
Magnetic fields are the key drivers of activity on the Sun. The field lines often form loops between positive and negative polarity regions. In this movie we see one such loop become very bright due to heating of the plasma that flows along these loops. This heating is likely the result of a process known as magnetic reconnection, where field lines rearrange their topology, and in doing so release large amounts of energy into the solar atmosphere.