Sunspots Pump Plasma Into Space
These three colorful images showcase an active region of the sun observed by Hinode on Aug. 23, 2007. The boxed portion of the top image, from Hinode’s X-Ray Telescope, highlights an area adjacent to an active region that is dark and inconspicuous. However, in the bottom two images taken with the Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer, powerful outflows are observed in the same area. The middle panel shows an extensive blue region in the boxed area. Blue signifies an outflow; red is a downflow. The speed of this outflow reaches 45,000 mph in some of the outflow areas. The area of the boxed region is about 2 billion square miles in size. The bottom panel shows the amount of turbulence in the gas. The most turbulent region by far is the outflow region. The shape of the turbulent image looks very similar to the outflow image, showing that the turbulence and outflow are strongly correlated.
Image credit: JAXA/NASA/NAOJ/STFC/ESA
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