Space Saturday XXIX

It is time once again for Space Saturday! This week I bring you two images of the Sun! The first I had meant to post at the beginning of the month, but you know how things are. The image comes from the STEREO spacecraft when it witnessed the Lunar transit of the Sun:

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Credit: STEREO - Source: Stereo Eclipse and STEREO Images

When we view a solar eclipse from Earth, the Moon happens to be at the perfect distance to block out the entire sun; because one of the the STEREO spacecrafts orbits the sun at a slightly closer distance to the Sun, it was able to catch a slightly different eclipse (technically I think it was considered a transit). I think the image is amazing not only because of the moon’s presence, but because of how amazing the sun looks! Check out the really large image to see some of the amazing features. There is also a very cool video of the transit: small, medium, and large. And there is this bonus movie that is composite of data from the spacecraft’s coronagraph and extreme ultraviolet imager. The sun is definitely a crazy place!

On that note, the second image I want to share shows one of the crazy things that goes on out there: a giant solar flare!

Credit: JAXA’s Hinode spacecraft. Source: New Phenomena on the Sun

It’s enough to make you leap out of your seat: A magnetic vortex almost as big as Earth races across your computer screen, twisting, turning, finally erupting in a powerful solar flare. Japan’s Hinode spacecraft recorded just such a blast on Jan. 12, 2007.

Cool, eh? Check out two video clips that show the storms in action: Clip #1 - Clip #2. And here are a few other cool video clips of the Sun. Good stuff!

For my other astronomy pictures, check out my Space Saturday Archive!

Categories: Science
  1. Nancy
    March 25th, 2007 at 12:23 | #1

    Wow!! Great pictures. The universe is so amazing!!!!!

  2. March 25th, 2007 at 14:57 | #2

    Seriously! I love it! :)

  3. March 25th, 2007 at 16:52 | #3

    those are awesome pictures… :)

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