XRT Picture of the Week (XPOW)

XRT Picture of the Week (XPOW)

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2012 October 31

Click for full-length movie or here for AIA/335.

Massive Filament Eruption from 2012/08/31

Today's edition shows XRT's view of the spectacular filament eruption from August 31st, which is perhaps the most jaw-dropping one yet observed by AIA. An AIA movie from the 335 Å channel can be found here. The 304 Å and LASCO coronagraph perspectives are also available here. Since XRT was not observing this area during its normal program, the observations begin once the region brightened enough to trigger XRT's flare response at about 19:47 UT. The eruption is fully underway at this point, and in the AIA images, cool plasma from the filament blocks the hot core of the active region below. XRT sees right through to the core because the x-rays it detects barrel through the filament material in the same way that x-rays from a medical imaging device penetrate human tissue, where lower-energy photons would be blocked. The animation above, which loops back-and-forth, shows the swaying motions of field lines that appear to lead back to where the filament is tethered to the photosphere at its footpoints. Click the animation for a longer-duration movie, which ends on post-flare loops that expand to fill nearly the full field-of-view. This process is described in more detail in this previous XPOW.

Keywords: Filament, CME
Filters: Be_thin

(Prepared by Patrick McCauley)

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