Dramatic Solar Physics Event


The above video of a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft shows a stunning example of what has become known as coronal rain. It’s called rain because of what it looks like, not because it has anything to do with water. Rather than meteorology, the branch of physics that is used to study such phenomena is magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). Unfortunately MHD is so complicated that it does not lend itself to problems suitable for high school or early university math or physics classes. This Sky & Telescope article provides a nice qualitative explanation of the video.

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