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Solar flare shows breath-taking power of the sun

posted 28 Feb 2011, 12:25 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 28 Feb 2011, 12:27 ]
The Sun has put on yet another spectacular light show with a massive solar flare captured in high definition by NASA's space based Solar Dynamics Observatory last Thursday (February 24). The flare followed a similar event on Valentine's Day which caused concern about possible disruptions on Earth. According to scientists however, this latest eruption, poses no threat to our planet.
NASA - NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and it's Earth-based controllers were ideally positioned on Thursday (February 24) to capture stunning images of the solar flare leaping into space from the surface of the Sun. As the waving mass of swirling plasma twisted outward and collapsed, the SDO's high-definition cameras were able to zoom in and

capture it in extreme ultra-violet light. The event lasted ninety minutes but was compressed by the cameras into a nearly seamless 16 seconds.

NASA says the flare was directed away from the Earth and poses no danger.

Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, SDO is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun. During its five-year mission, it will examine the sun's magnetic field and provide information about the role the sun in Earth's atmospheric chemistry and climate. The observatory has already demonstrated its ability to provide images with unprecedented clarity and return more comprehensive science data faster than any other solar observing spacecraft.