An American astrophotographer has compiled hundreds of thousands of individual images to create the image of a stream of plasma launched into space at a speed of around 161,000 km/h..
Andrew McCarthy, an astrophotographer living in Arizona, USA, took an impressive photo of a stream of plasma ejected from the Sun, reaching more than 1.6 million kilometers beyond the star’s surface. This is a coronal mass ejection (CME), pointed away from the Earth, Live Science reported October 6.
The composite image shows a stream of plasma about 1.6 million kilometers long ejected from the Sun.
The composite image shows a stream of plasma about 1.6 million kilometers long ejected from the Sun. (Photo: Andrew McCarthy)
The flare occurred on September 24 and was part of a G1 solar storm, the weakest level of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) geomagnetic storm scale. This scale includes 5 levels, of which G1 is the weakest and G5 the strongest. G2 storms can affect power systems at high latitudes and affect spacecraft orbit predictions.
Earth typically experiences more than 2,000 G1 and G2 solar storms each decade. More violent storms can have significant consequences. Storms cause an increase in atmospheric density in the low orbit zone where satellites operate, thereby increasing the drag force that pulls them out of orbit.
The initial plasma flow is located in a large ring attached to the surface of the Sun, called the ears of fire, then broke off and flew into space at a speed of approximately 161,000 km/h. McCarthy said the photo was compiled from hundreds of thousands of photos taken over 6 hours. Around 30 to 80 photos are taken every second and then stored in a file of around 800 gigabytes. The images are then combined to display the CME in detail.
In the photo, the surface of the Sun and the CME are orange – but in reality this is not the case. Chromosphere (lowest region of the Sun’s atmosphere) and CME emits a type of reddish-pink light in human eyes, called alpha or H-alpha hydrogen light. However, because the exposure time of each image is so short, the original images are almost entirely white. McCarthy reprocessed it to produce the final composite image.
CMEs are occurring more frequently in recent months as the Sun enters a period of intense activity called solar maximum, which lasts approximately 7 years. Plasma plumes are also likely to grow larger, McCarthy said.
McCarthy also warned people not to try to observe the Sun without the right equipment.. “Don’t point an ordinary telescope at the Sun. You will damage the camera or worse, your eyes”, he said. McCarthy added that his telescope is specially modified with many filters to be able to observe CMEs and take photos safely.
Article source: VnExpress
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Recently, an American astrophotographer compiled hundreds of thousands of individual photos to create a photo of a plasma stream launched into space at a speed of 161,000 km/h.