NASA: Massive Solar Flare in HD

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<p>This movie of the March 6, 2012 X5.4 flare was captured by the Solar
Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in the 171 and 131 Angstrom wavelength. One
of the most dramatic features is the way the entire surface of the sun
seems to ripple with the force of the eruption. This movement comes
from something called EIT waves -- because they were first discovered
with the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) on the Solar
Heliospheric Observatory. Since SDO captures images every 12 seconds,
it has been able to map the full evolution of these waves and confirm
that they can travel across the full breadth of the sun. The waves move
at over a million miles per hour, zipping from one side of the sun to
the other in about an hour. The movie shows two distinct waves. The
first seems to spread in all directions; the second is narrower, moving
toward the southeast. Such waves are associated with, and perhaps
trigger, fast coronal mass ejections, so it is likely that each one is
connected to one of the two CMEs that erupted on March 6. </p>

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