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Dancing Loops in Profile - May 9-10, 2007


This is one of the clearest and most engaging clips of solar plasma shimmying and arcing above the edge of the Sun that we have ever been able to view (May 9-10, 2007). With STEREO's high frame rate (an image every few minutes) and high resolution, we can zoom in on areas of interest yet maintain image clarity. This large sunspot was just rotating to the edge of the Sun when we zoomed in on its action for about 18 hours. The active region, a hot bed of intense magnetic forces, is the source of almost all of the activity we see. It spurts out plasma about six or seven times in arcing bursts, all of which is controlled by powerful magnetic forces that sweep the material back into the Sun. It should be noted that the rate at which the images were captured changed roughly half way through the clip, so that the pacing seems to slow down. These were taken in of extreme ultraviolet light at 304 Angstroms from the Behind spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/STEREO/Naval Research Laboratory

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