SOHO catches bright solar flare and CME
Active region 10486 on the Sun, which was already under close scrutiny by several instruments on board SOHO and other satellites, as well as numerous ground observatories, started up a spectacular two-part show in the morning on Tuesday 28 October 2003.
An X 17.2 flare, the second largest flare observed by SOHO, set off a strong high energy proton event and a fast-moving Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), hitting the Earth early on Wednesday 29 October. The encore came on Wednesday afternoon, when an X 10.0 flare from the same active region set off another round of particles and another fast-moving CME.
The four panels in this image capture the first of the two flares and the associated CME on 28 October 2003, with four views from different instruments on board SOHO.
- Upper left: 06:24 UT.
Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) image of the Sun's disk, showing the large group of sunspots of active region 10486.
- Upper right: 11:12 UT.
Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) image, taken through a filter at 195 Ångström, showing the strong solar flare in active region 10486.
- Lower left: 11:30 UT.
The C2 camera of the Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) shows the CME cloud emerging from the Sun.
- Lower right: 12:42 UT.
The LASCO C3 camera shows the CME cloud emerging from the Sun. The shower of energetic particles that ensued shows up in this image as bright points and streaks, caused by the particles hitting the instrument's detectors.
Note: a central occulting disk blocks out the Sun in the two LASCO images to allow study of the faint details in the Sun's corona. The size of the Sun's disk is indicated by the white circle.