The Sun Getting Ready To Explode

The Sun Getting Ready To Explode

. When the coronal magnetic fields get twisted into an S, or sigmoid, shape, they become dangerous, like a coiled rattlesnake waiting to strike. Statistical studies indicate that the appearance of such a large S or inverted S shape in soft X-rays is likely to be followed by an explosion in just a few days. This image was taken on 8 June 1998 with the Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) aboard the Yohkoh satellite (Courtesy of Richard C. Canfield, NASA, ISAS, the Lockheed-Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, and the University of Tokyo.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University