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On March 7th, Hinode pointed toward the eastern limb of the sun to observe an active region that was just beginning to rotate onto the disk. Near the end of the day, the active region we now know as AR12297, produced a beautiful flare with a bright cusp and associated coronal mass ejection. But just a few hours before that event, XRT saw a peculiar flare with a dark vortex spinning high in bright expanding loops.
The above movie shows a set of images taken over an hour in the thin_Be filter; the images have been rotated so that the east limb points up. As the small loops get bright, the canopy above them expands upward and away from the sun. Just a few minutes into the expansion, a dark vortex starts whirling and rolling out from the middle of the canopy as if it were unraveling the active region loops.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory AIA observations show a region with complicated coronal structures. The AIA 193 movie (cool plasma) shows expanding loops that appear to shrink and bend over the active region. However, the AIA 094 movie (hot plasma) confirms XRT's observations.
Keywords: AR Tracking, Flare