Bastille Day Shock

Today is Bastille Day, commemorating the flare-up of the French Revolution in 1789. In that sense it’s kind of like our 4th of July, except that where we supply our own fireworks le soliel got supplied them for Bastille Day in 2000. It was called the Bastille Day Shock.

A transient flow system containing several streams and shocks associated with the Bastille Day 2000 solar event was observed by the WIND and ACE spacecraft at 1 AU. Voyager 2 (V2) at 63 AU observed this flow system after it moved through the interplanetary medium and into the distant heliosphere, where the interstellar pickup protons strongly influence the MHD structures and flow dynamics.

Um. Yeah. Just what all that means, I don’t know. But I do know that it looked really cool, thanks to the pictures and videos accompanying this somewhat simpler explanation of what happened when the sun celebrated Bastille Day.

Bastille Day Shock

On July 14, 2000, an enormous x-class flare was observed near the center of the solar disk of the Sun (a-b).

An x-class flare is the most intense flare recorded and, like smaller flares, is thought to be the result of reconnection at the base of the solar corona.

The Bastille Day flare may have been produced by a larger, more violent and active version of the reconnection event being shown in this movie (c).