XRT Picture of the Week (XPOW)

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2016 January 12

Click for movie. Also available on YouTube.

Unraveling an Active Region

After active region AR12473 rotated behind the solar limb, the Sun erupted in activity with near simultaneous flares on both limbs. Very few observatories even noticed these events because they originated behind the limb and weren't very bright.

Hinode XRT ran a CME Watch program on the west limb on 6 Jan 2016. In the above movie, there is a bright flash and then a spectacular eruption. Small bright loops unravel as hot plasma is flung out. Near the end of the movie, we see long, string-like, extrusions that look like harp strings being plucked. The Sun is not playing a sonata, instead supra-arcade downflows of plasma rushing back toward the recently evacuated loops.

Hinode XRT was taking the longest exposure possible (16 seconds) and the images are scaled on a log scale meaning that this eruption was actually quite dim. LASCO also observed the eruptions and confirmed what XRT suspected.

Keywords: Downflows, Flare
Filters: Be_thin

(Prepared by Patricia Jibben)

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