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 Dramatic New Pictures Of The Sun

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PostSubject: Dramatic New Pictures Of The Sun   Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:46 am



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Astonishing new pictures that could help unlock the secrets of the Sun have been released by Nasa.

The dramatic videos and images - 10 times clearer than high definition TV - show giant flares and clouds of ionised gas erupting from the surface of the star.

One video captures a blast know as a coronal mass ejection, in which the same amount of material contained in the whole Mississippi River is ejected at one million miles per hour - in 30 seconds.

The images were taken by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The satellite, which carries four telescopes along with a plethora of other hi-tech equipment, will examine the Sun's magnetic field and its impact on the Earth's atmosphere and climate.

Solar flares are known to affect the world's weather, knock out power supplies and affect navigational equipment.

Madhulika Guhathakurta, the mission's programme scientist at Nasa, said: "It is the most comprehensive view of the Sun.

"When you see the whole Sun, it is showing connections we have never seen before."

The £522m million observatory will operate for at least five years.
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