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Solar Dynamics Observatory

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One of the better images from the transit of Venus to emerge this week comes from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. It shows a detailed view of the face of the Sun with Venus approaching on June 5th, 2012.

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NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, in orbit since 2010, is on a mission to help us understand the sun’s impact on Earth and nearby space, producing some the most dramatic images of the solar atmosphere. This image from March 13, 2012, shows a “medium-sized” solar flare (the bright spot on the right) which is big enough to cause radio blackouts in the Earth’s polar regions. Solar flares are bursts of radiation that come from a release of intense magnetic energy, and are our solar system’s largest explosive events. They can last from minutes to several hours. The image is taken in a wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum which allows us to see what the sun’s atmosphere looks like.

NASA/SDO

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