NASA's IRIS Witnesses Largest Solar Flare Since It Launched Last Summer
Posted on February 22, 2014
NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) has witnessed its largest solar flare since it was launched in Summer 2013. The M-class flare, the second strongest class flare, was observed on January 28, 2014. IRIS is designed to study the Sun's chromosphere.
IRIS is equipped with a spectrograph that can separate out the light it sees into its individual wavelengths. This information provides details about the different temperatures, velocities and densities in the part of the Sun IRIS is observing. NASA scientists say the spectrograph on IRIS was pointed right into the heart of this flare when it reached its peak. Take a look: