THE BEST PICTURES OF EARTH: Reader Picks of NASA Shots

THE BEST PICTURES OF EARTH: Reader Picks of NASA Shots
<< Previous   7 of 10   Next >>
7. STEREO's First View of the Sun (January 3, 2007)

Loops of highly charged particles shoot out from the sun's roiling surface, as seen in ultraviolet by the twin STEREO spacecraft.

The sun's surface regularly pumps out these coronal mass ejections--explosions caused by magnetic stress in the sun's atmosphere, which is shown above at roughly a million Kelvin (1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit). Solar flares surge into space with each eruption, causing auroras on Earth and disrupting communications and radio systems.

The active region at the base of each blast can be seen from Earth as sunspots, but the ultraviolet loops can only be observed from space.

—Image by STEREO/NASA, courtesy Earth Observatory
 
NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS




 

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.