Posted by BC on November 25th, 2009
Guess what is 100,000 km high, travels 250 km/s, and packs a 2400 megaton punch? Answer: A fast-mode magnetohydrodynamical wave (MHD wave, for short). It’s basically a tsunami of hot solar plasma rippling from a central point outward. The ripple affects the outer layers of solar material and can be seen as prominences and other features.
The twin STEREO spacecraft gave scientists two views of the MHD wave event associated with CME 11012 in February 2009. Videos were taken and can be seen at the NASA site. The information taken from the view of the MHD wave gives more insight into the interior works of our Sun.
Watch the prominence dance as the waves hit.