Solar activity. Extreme ultraviolet (UV) satellite image showing darker, cooler plasma sliding and shifting back and forth above the Sun's surface, a process that was viewed by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) for 30 hours from 7th-8th February 2012. An active region rotating into view provides a bright backdrop to the gyrating streams of plasma. The particles are being pulled this way and that by competing magnetic forces. They are tracking along strands of magnetic field lines. This kind of detailed solar observation with high-resolution frames and a four-minute cadence was not possible until SDO.
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