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Science  12 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5370, pp. 1663
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5370.1663c

Loops of million-degree plasma tethered by magnetic fields leap from the sun's surface in this false-color image taken in late April by NASA's Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) spacecraft, launched on 1 April. Posted on Lockheed Martin's TRACE Web site, the image was made in ultraviolet light and shows unprecedented detail in the loops (red marks the hottest ones, about 1.8 million °C). On a fast computer, one can also watch black-and-white movies of a small “magnetic reconnection” on 8 May, an event in which tightly wound fields snap and link up with neighboring fields. Magnetic reconnection releases energy that can trigger a solar flare and, ultimately, disrupt power systems on Earth. The site also has links to TRACE data centers. In a new development for NASA, the project is releasing data hours after it's taken instead of waiting a year so that investigators can publish.

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