Monday, March 31, 2014

X-1 Flare Yesterday with a Nice Coronal Dimming

The X-1 flare on Saturday produced a very nice example of coronal dimming. Here is a short movie showing five hours of the Sun in the AIA 193 passband. After the flare happens in the upper right quadrant at 1755 UTC on March 29, 2014, a dark region spreads over the north pole. This is a coronal dimming event. There are many ways to interpret these dimming events. Are they the edges of the coronal mass ejection that left the Sun at the time of the flare? Are they waves moving past magnetic field lines and making them sway? Whatever it is, it moves fast. Active Region 12017 is at 10°N 48°W. If something moves from there to the north pole of the Sun (90°N) in 45 minutes it had to move at about 360 km/s (800,000 mph). I only see the dimming moving north.

Wherever coronal dimmings come from, they look pretty cool.