Video Shows Plasma Rain on the Surface of the Sun

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Video Shows Plasma Rain on the Surface of the Sun

In 2012, NASA captured beautiful video of a solar perfect storm.

In July 2012, a medium-strength solar flare erupted out of the sun's lower right side. Immediately afterwards, there was a Coronal Mass Ejection - where the sun spits out some of its matter into space in a plume. Finally, and most spectacularly, there was a magnetic event called coronal rain. In coronal rain, hot plasma that has been ejected is drawn back towards the surface of the sun along magnetic fields, which exert enough force to draw along very particular paths. As the plasma is pulled it condenses into rain-like bolts at around 50,000 Kelvin (89,540 Fahrenheit or 49,726 Celsius). It's not only beautiful, but scientists are able to use the path of the plasma to trace out the sun's magnetic fields.

The footage was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory's AIA Instrument, which collected one frame every 12 seconds. Each second in the video is about six minutes of real time.

Source: NASA

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It's only just as hot as my shower when it decides to troll me :/

OT: Beautiful video :)

Well that made the old lava lamp in used to own look very inadequate.

OT: Awesome video.

This, my friends, is real space porn.

Just beautiful.

Is better without the music.

I love fire... i mean it a totally legal and never excessive... ahh screw it burn baby! thats amazing.

...And now I know what it looks like when it rains super-fire on the sun.
My day is complete

I'm still trying to find words to describe how awesome it is to see a bolt of plasma turn into a loop the size of Jupiter.

This made my day. Thanks, Mr. Bolding!

Looks like a Solar Prominence to me.
"Plasma Rain" is a cute word they gave the public, though it's aptly descriptive.
*continues to stare at the video*

I could watch that all day.

I might have my math wrong, but I think that 4 minutes of video translates to just about 24 hours.

It's a magnificent sight to behold.

Had a bad day today, watched this video, and was reminded that it doesn't matter.

Isnt it interesting how you see many sections that mimic fractal patterns.

Most of that stuff is traveling at least 72,000 miles per hour, in bolts as big as our continents.

And to think that among stars, this is what passes for unremarkable.

Hmmm, Coronal Rain huh? I wonder if a JRPG has used that as a skill name.

Man, if you could harness those beams into a weapon, it'd be unstoppable. Crazy amount of energy.

This is why I worship the Sun.

Asks for nothing in return, I can see it, has the power to genocide us all but instead gives us life.

If only I could be so beautifully incandescent as her.

Space can be truly beautiful at times...

I assume I'm not the only person who looked at that and wondered if a slightly bigger one could have ejected part of that fireball from the sun's gravitational field, whether such a mass would disperse with the square of its distance from the sun or be held together under its own gravity, and what distance such a fireball would need to miss Earth by to avoid scorching all life off the planet.

I've never heard of stars throwing out planet-sized fireballs, so I assume it's not too likely, but do any physicists or astronomers want to enlighten me on this?

Now THAT was awesome, my friends. Reminds us all of the beauties that lie outside of our little floating rock we call home.

JonB:
50,000 Kelvin (89,540 Fahrenheit or 49,726 Celsius).

Made me chuckle, since I recently read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_precision

The Morning Suit Man:
This is why I worship the Sun.

Asks for nothing in return, I can see it, has the power to genocide us all but instead gives us life.

If only I could be so beautifully incandescent as her.

I wanted to say something to this effect aswell...

Slayer_2:
Man, if you could harness those beams into a weapon, it'd be unstoppable. Crazy amount of energy.

Really good for destroying the planet.

So, can someone say that we set fire to the rain? :P

... I know, I know. Bad joke.

OK, in all honesty, that looked pretty badass.

The fire... It's soooooo pretty...

Beautiful and terrifying all at once.

Crazy to think that just one of those drops of plasma rain is about the size of North America. Videos like this always make me feel so small and insignificant. Then I start watching size comparisons of stars and galaxies and feel even smaller.

I love the universe.

Pinkamena:

Slayer_2:
Man, if you could harness those beams into a weapon, it'd be unstoppable. Crazy amount of energy.

Really good for destroying the planet.

We already have nukes for that, I'm thinking a beam weapon to destroy asteroids.

I can't get that old chocolate rain song out of my head.

(im turning my head so the plasma doesn't burn the mic)

Plasma, raaaiiinn, some stay dry while others feel the pain.

sorry I just had to

Makes me wish we had safer and affordable space travel. Beautiful video though.

I love those explosions that happen and then are pulled back into the sun the same way they went out.

Don't mess up that arwing!

The whole time, I was getting ready to compartmentalize/vent my ship...

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