Producer Scott Wiessinger of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., created a lightened, blended version of the CME using SDO’s 304 and 171 angstroms (wavelengths). This blended image earned second place in Wikimedia Commons’ “Picture of the Year 2012” contest.
A solar eruption gracefully rose up from the sun on December 31, 2012, twisting and turning. Magnetic forces drove the flow of plasma, but without sufficient force to overcome the sun’s gravity much of the plasma fell back into the sun.
In December, a NASA mission to study the sun will make its third launch into space for a six-minute flight to gather information about the way material roils through the sun's atmosphere, sometimes causing eruptions and ejections that travel as far as Earth.