Status Report

The Sun lashes out a very complex Coronal Mass Ejection

By SpaceRef Editor
January 4, 2002
Filed under , ,

Happy New Year!

The Sun unlashed a powerful eruption today and the SOHO instruments
maybe the most complex coronal mass ejection (CME) seen since the launch
six years ago. The CME was initiated by an eruptive prominence on the NE
limb and is therefore not heading towards the Earth.

The images from the LASCO coronagraph (see link below)
show a very rapidly expanding coronal mass ejection (CME) blasting
billions of
tons of particles out from the Sun at about 3.5 million kilometers per hour.
The complex structures are caused by magnetic filed structures that were
from the Sun.

The Sun, blocked by an occulting disk, is represented by the white
circle. The
bright object just to the right of the Sun (and moving from right to
left in the
movies) is the planet Venus. The bright horisontla streaks is an
artifact of the
LASCO detector since the planet is to bright for the detector.

Images can be found here:
Maybe the best is:

Our HOTSHOT story will soon be posted (and replace the old one) on:

Until then all images (in different resolutions) and raw mpegs can be found

For more information about how such eruptions can interfere with the
environment IF they are directed toward us can be found in this short


Paal Brekke

SOHO Deputy Project Scientist (European Space Agency – ESA)

SpaceRef staff editor.