Tag Archives: Flares

NASA Staring at the Sun, the Graceful and Magnificent Eruptions…

Learning about the Sun and our relationship to it is of great importance to NASA, and all of us. The fact that from time to time incredible videos result from the science, that’s just a bonus.

Two of the most spectacular videos to come from all of this staring at the Sun capture the Sun at its explosive and fiery best. The Graceful Eruption and the Magnificent Eruption videos both capture massive CME events occurring on the surface of the sun, both of them spectacular.

Presented for your viewing pleasure are two of the best examples of CME action captured by the SDO satellite. Capturing the Sun as it sheds immense amounts of energy and matter. Sit back, relax and let the solar storm begin.

Continue reading NASA Staring at the Sun, the Graceful and Magnificent Eruptions…

Sprites. Space Lightning…

Just above the clouds, on the other side of the sky is a phenomenon that’s caught the eye science, Sprites.

Sprites are a relatively newly discovered – 1989 – high altitude atmospheric optical emission – flash – they are a large-scale electrical discharge that occur high above thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus, giving rise to a quite varied range of visual shapes flickering in the night sky.

They are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between an underlying thundercloud and the ground. Sprites only last for Milli-seconds and can be quite dim compared to the lightning flash below the clouds. They look like recoil from lightning.

Sprites are often inaccurately called upper-atmospheric lightning. However, sprites are cold plasma phenomena that lack the hot channel temperatures of tropospheric lightning, so they are more akin to a fluorescent tube discharges than to lightning discharges.

Continue reading Sprites. Space Lightning…