APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

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APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:06 am

Image Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun

Explanation: Solar active region AR2192 was the largest recorded sunspot group of the last 24 years. Before rotating off the Earth-facing side of the Sun at the end of October, it produced a whopping six energetic X-class flares. Its most intense flare was captured on October 24 in this stunning view from the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory. The scene is a color combination of images made at three different wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light; 193 angstroms shown in blue, 171 angstroms in white, and 304 angstroms in red. The emission, from highly ionized Iron and Helium atoms, traces magnetic field lines looping through the hot plasma of the Sun's outer chromosphere and corona. Beneath, the cooler solar photosphere appears dark at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths. The exceptionally sharp composite image has been processed with a new mathematical algorithm (NAFE) that adapts to noise and brightness in extreme ultraviolet image data to reliably enhance small details.

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Amadon » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:28 am

I noticed this APOD said the CME was mostly Iron and Helium. This is really interesting! Why is it the first atom to form, and the last, before the star dies? Why those two in particular and not a mix of the full composition of the star?

Thanks!

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:11 pm

Amadon wrote:I noticed this APOD said the CME was mostly Iron and Helium. This is really interesting! Why is it the first atom to form, and the last, before the star dies? Why those two in particular and not a mix of the full composition of the star?

Thanks!
Someone may expand upon this Amadon, but I would think that this is just a coincidence of where some of the many emission lines for these two elements happen to fall in the extreme ultraviolet part of the electromagnet spectrum. When we view the whole spectrum lines from all the other present elements between He and Fe are there as well.

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by tmulcahy@unm.edu » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:42 pm

Looks like a giant moth on the Sun. Mothra? :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by DCStone » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:04 pm

Bruce's comment is correct: they picked UV wavelengths that correspond to Far UV atomic emission bands of helium and iron out of all those available from the full range of elements present deliberately. Helium, because of its abundance and the fact that it will trace out the ejections; and iron, because it will trace out the resulting magnetic field lines associated with the flare.

Think of it as a giant bar magnet and a bunch of iron filings on a sheet of paper, and you get the idea.

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:09 pm

DCStone wrote:Bruce's comment is correct: they picked UV wavelengths that correspond to Far UV atomic emission bands of helium and iron out of all those available from the full range of elements present deliberately. Helium, because of its abundance and the fact that it will trace out the ejections; and iron, because it will trace out the resulting magnetic field lines associated with the flare.

Think of it as a giant bar magnet and a bunch of iron filings on a sheet of paper, and you get the idea.
Atomic iron behaves no differently in a magnetic field than atomic helium. In this case, both are following magnetic field lines not because of what type of atom they happen to be, but because they are ionized and therefore have a net electrical charge. Any difference in their dynamics is primarily due to their different masses.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Coil_Smoke » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:42 pm

This new image processing algorithm is revealing thin wispy details that are usually looked right through on the Suns surface.These aspects are seen more easily seen at the limb and not often so vividly revealed across the Sun's face.

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by starsurfer » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:43 pm

Looks like something that might be in a dream geckzilla might have! :shock: :D :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Coil_Smoke » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:53 pm

Amadon wrote:I noticed this APOD said the CME was mostly Iron and Helium. This is really interesting! Why is it the first atom to form, and the last, before the star dies? Why those two in particular and not a mix of the full composition of the star?

Thanks!
Maybe the iron is concentrated in the area of a sunspot. Iron seems to be the antithesis of solar activity. That is iron seems to inhibit the production of energy in a star. All iron = dead star. Could this be the reason for cooler temperatures of sunspots?

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:06 pm

Coil_Smoke wrote:Maybe the iron is concentrated in the area of a sunspot. Iron seems to be the antithesis of solar activity. That is iron seems to inhibit the production of energy in a star. All iron = dead star. Could this be the reason for cooler temperatures of sunspots?
Iron does not inhibit energy production in a star that is driven by H->He fusion processes. The iron in the Sun is a trace element present from its formation, and has no significant effect on its behavior.

Late in the life of a star, iron is produced by fusion processes. Since iron cannot be fused into heavier elements without using more energy than the reaction creates, it represents a dead end for a star to create energy by gravitationally driven fusion. But this is not happening in the Sun.

Because ionized iron has a different mass than ionized helium, it will follow a different path in a magnetic field. That's a separation process that is useful for visualization, but that's all. The Sun would be doing the exact same thing if no iron were present.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by BMAONE23 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:44 pm

There is an interesting feature in the upper left corner of the image that resembles a CRACK in the solar surface. It is likely a Solar filament though it has an angle at the mid point.

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:22 pm

BMAONE23 wrote:There is an interesting feature in the upper left corner of the image that resembles a CRACK in the solar surface. It is likely a Solar filament though it has an angle at the mid point.
Yes, it does show up in conventional H-alpha images as well. When new ways of visualizing data are developed, we sometimes need to relearn what ordinary things look like.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Boomer12k » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:03 pm

Awesome....Science is soooo AMAZING!!!

Better and better detail...

Angstroms...Ann must be in heaven.... :D

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by FloridaMike » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:05 pm

This image is stunning combination of scientific insight and beauty. A real work of art.

Thank you to everyone involved in bringing this image to us.
Certainty is an emotion. So follow your spindle neurons.

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by BMAONE23 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:17 pm

Some links to amazing videos of Solar Filaments that erupt.
The WAVE pattern propagating along the solar surface at the time of the prominence eruption is also quite an interesting feature
http://www.space.com/26139-enormous-sol ... video.html
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
http://www.space.com/27014-gigantic-sol ... video.html

Truely stellar videos

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by ta152h0 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:16 pm

I really like this image. Very pleasing to the eye.......my eye for sure. Pass the ice cold one while I look at this for a while.
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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by tetrodehead » Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:17 am

Just for interest, why is the Angstrom used rather than the S.I. unit nM ?

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Nitpicker » Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:24 am

tetrodehead wrote:Just for interest, why is the Angstrom used rather than the S.I. unit nM ?
It is the angstrom (or even the ångström), but not the Angstrom. I would guess it is used for style reasons (it gives one a sense of continuity with the past, without entirely thumbing one's nose at SI units) and to avoid decimal places.

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by DavidGovett » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:23 am

"I noticed this APOD said the CME was mostly Iron and Helium."
As I recall about the curve of binding energy, iron is a star-killer.
What gives?

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:03 am

DavidGovett wrote:"I noticed this APOD said the CME was mostly Iron and Helium."
As I recall about the curve of binding energy, iron is a star-killer.
What gives?
See my comment above.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by DavidLeodis » Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:35 pm

I like the Noise Adaptive Fuzzy Equalization (NAFE) name for that image processing method. :P

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Sacriola » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:39 am

Hi everyone, I am new on this and I just would like to ask you something.
I received a picture from a friend today that were took on the beach were I could see a small circle with a red light around it.
Could it have anything related with this episode? How can I upload the picture?

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Nitpicker » Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:44 am

Sacriola wrote:Hi everyone, I am new on this and I just would like to ask you something.
I received a picture from a friend today that were took on the beach were I could see a small circle with a red light around it.
Could it have anything related with this episode? How can I upload the picture?
No, it was almost certainly a camera artefact, like a lens flare.

See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lens_flare

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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by ta152h0 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:38 am

as far as Noise Adaptive Fuzzy Equalization (NAFE) goes, the scientists really, really are funny people, accidental comedians if you will !
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Re: APOD: Solar Flare from a Sharper Sun (2014 Nov 22)

Post by Locutus » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:19 am

Chris Peterson wrote:Iron does not inhibit energy production in a star that is driven by H->He fusion processes. The iron in the Sun is a trace element present from its formation, and has no significant effect on its behavior.

Late in the life of a star, iron is produced by fusion processes. Since iron cannot be fused into heavier elements without using more energy than the reaction creates, it represents a dead end for a star to create energy by gravitationally driven fusion. But this is not happening in the Sun.

Because ionized iron has a different mass than ionized helium, it will follow a different path in a magnetic field. That's a separation process that is useful for visualization, but that's all. The Sun would be doing the exact same thing if no iron were present.
Thanks for this answer! I was just about to ask where the Sun's iron came from. I guess it's the same molecular cloud where all Earth's iron came from.