Bright flashes of UV light seen on sun

UV light splashes from the sun (Credit: NASA / SDO / P. Testa (CfA))
UV light splashes from the sun (Credit: NASA / SDO / P. Testa (CfA))

Main Point:

Researchers found bright flashes of ultraviolet light on the sun on June 7, 2011 that can help in study of young stars and their growth.

Study Further:

On that day, our sun released a huge amount of hot plasma into space and some of that plasma went back to the sun’s surface resulting in the production of UV light.

All these observations were made by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is continuously observing the sun with Atmospheric Imaging Assembly instrument giving better-than-HD resolution images. This instrument was designed by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

“We’re getting beautiful observations of the Sun. And we get such high spatial resolution and high cadence that we can see things that weren’t obvious before,” said Paola Testa from CfA.

Researchers found dark splashes of gas on June 7, which were representing the solar plasma with a temperature of about 18,000° Fahrenheit (10,000° Celsius). When some of the plasma flashes hit the sun’s surface with a huge speed of over 900,000 mph (400 km/sec), the temperature increased up to almost 2 million degrees F (1.1 million degrees C) emitting UV rays.

According to scientists, this finding would help to study young stars, which are still in the growing phase.

“We often study young stars to learn about our Sun when it was an infant,” said Testa. “Now we’re doing the reverse and studying our Sun to better understand distant stars.”


CfA via Astronomy


Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."

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