Plasma Rain > Purple Rain > Chocolate Rain > Blame It on the Rain NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft celebrated three years in space earlier this month. Its five-year mission to provide detailed views of the sun, solar flares, comets and other space weather events is going smoothly, and it seems as NASA is getting its money’s worth, capturing significant images and video that are helping us understand the universe better. photo credit: NASA/SDO Like this incredible event, highlighted here by Space.com: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) watched as a medium-strength flare erupted from the sun on July 19, 2012. The blast also generated the enormous, shimmering plasma loops, which are an example of a phenomenon known as “coronal rain,” agency officials said. “Hot plasma in the corona [the sun's outer atmosphere] cooled and condensed along strong magnetic fields in the region,” NASA officials wrote in a description of the four-minute video of solar plasma “rain”, which NASA released Wednesday (Feb. 20). “Magnetic fields are invisible, but the charged plasma is forced to move along the lines, showing up brightly in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstroms, and outlining the fields as it slowly falls back to the solar surface,” they added. Follow Us [Space.com] Slade Sohmer Slade Sohmer is editor-in-chief of HyperVocal and co-host of SiriusXM's daily "Politics Powered By Twitter" program. Tweet him at @SladeHV.