Apr 8, 1997

Here Comes the Sun....





April 9, 1997
updated April 10, 1997


SOHO jpeg 4/7/97 15:21UT
Astronomers have observed a giant eruption of material on the Sun that is headed for the Earth. Detected by NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), the million-mile per hour stream of particles is predicted to slam into the Earth sometime Wednesday afternoon. When these events reach the Earth, they can produce spectacular images of the Earth's aurora, or "Northern Lights."

The image above, when clicked, shows a sequence of four images taken by the LASCO C2 coronagraph aboard SOHO of this event on the sun April 7.

Scientists at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center will be watching the Earth's aurora in real-time with the Ultraviolet Imager Experiment aboard the POLAR spacecraft. "We expect some enhanced activity this afternoon," remarked Dr. Glynn Germany of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The latest auroral pictures will be posted as they are received from the instrument.

The POLAR spacecraft instruments were turned off on April 10, for a scheduled (and necessary) twice-yearly realignment. Operations will resume on April 15, in the late afternoon.


Quicktime, AVI, and animated GIF format movies of existing data
1 frame approximately every 10 minutes for which near-real-time data is available.*


 April 9, 1997 April 10, 1997
  (2.27 MB)   (2.27 MB) 
(0.65 MB) (0.65 MB) 
(2.8 MB) (2.8 MB) 
  (0.54 MB)  Quicktime: small (0.54 MB) 
: (0.48 MB)   : (0.60 MB)

* Note that during the time NASA is not in contact with the satellite, there is no near-real-time data which is used to make these movies. Scientists receive the full dataset within a few days.