NASA’s IRIS Spots Largest Solar Flare Since Launch [VIDEO]
By Parismita Goswami | February 24, 2014 11:04 PM EST
On Jan. 28, 2014, NASA's IRIS witnessed its strongest solar flare since it launched in the summer of 2013.
According to scientists, solar flares are bursts of x-rays and light that stream out into space. However, scientists are still not certain as to what sets them off.
Scientists spotted a magnetically active region on the sun and focused IRIS on it, to see how the solar material behaved under intense magnetic forces. At 2:40 pm EST (1:30 a.m. IST), while examining the sun's lower atmospheric layer just above the surface, called chromospheres, scientists observed a moderate flare, labelled an M-class flare, which is the second strongest class of flare after X-class, as reported by NASA.
The researchers explain that the energy heats up the corona (upper atmosphere) as it travels, which prompts solar events such as huge flare.
According to the researchers, the spectrograph, an instrument employed by IRIS to separate the captured light into individual wavelengths, was pointed right into the heart of this flare when it reached its peak and the data obtained helped determining how different temperatures of material flows, giving scientists more insight into how flares work.
The IRIS mission is managed by the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory of the ATC in Palo Alto, California.
"IRIS also draws on state of the art computer modeling sophisticated enough to deal with the complexity of this area. In combination, IRIS's resolution, wide temperature coverage and computer modeling will enable scientists to map plumes of solar material as they move throughout the region and to pinpoint where in their travels they gain energy and heat," according to NASA.
Check here for the video
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- NFL MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Houston Texans 23 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- ASUS Releases A Teaser Indicating The Arrival of New Zenfone and ZenWatch On October 28
- Boy Stoned To Death For Alleged Rape, Victim Receives Dowry From Militants
- Three Dual SIM Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Duos Variants Comes To China
- Russia is Creating Underwater Combat Robots to Protect its Arctic Territories
- ‘Lone Wolf’ Attack on Canada Parliament Hill Could be ISIS-Related
- Android Lollipop 5.0 Confirmed for Nov 3 Rollout as Nexus 6 Global Release Date is Delayed – Reports