Imaging the Sun's Eruptions in Three Dimensions

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Science  02 Jul 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5680, pp. 49-50
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100371

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A better understanding of solar flares and coronal mass ejections from the Sun will require knowledge of the structural details of these events. Yet most solar imaging only provides two-dimensional information. In his Perspective, Raymond discusses results reported in the same issue by Moran and Davila, in which polarization of the light scattered by electrons in coronal mass ejections has been used to recover three-dimensional information. Combined with other imaging approaches, the reconstructed images should greatly improve the prediction of violent space weather and the understanding of the physical processes behind solar events.