Complex mass of plasma: ‘solar tornado’ captured by SDO

complex-mass-of-plasma-solar-tornado-captured-by-sdo

A small, but complex mass of solar material gyrated and spun about over the course of 40 hours above the surface of the Sun from September 1 – 3, 2015. It was stretched and pulled back and forth by powerful magnetic forces in this sequence captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO. 

The temperature of the ionized iron particles observed in this extreme ultraviolet wavelength of light was about 2.8 million degrees Celsius (5 million degrees Fahrenheit).

SDO captures imagery in many wavelengths, each of which represents different temperatures of material, and each of which highlights different events on the sun. Each wavelength is typically colorized in a pre-assigned color.

Wavelengths of 335 Angstroms, such as are represented in this picture, are colorized in blue.

Video courtesy of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

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