Astronomy Picture of the Day

A Solar Prominence from SOHO

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#81614 by @ 10.11.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
A Solar Prominence from SOHO

What happened to the Sun?

Nothing very unusual: the strange-looking
solar appendage on the lower
left is actually just a spectacular looking version of a common
solar prominence.

A solar prominence is a cloud of solar gas held above the
Sun's surface by the Sun's
magnetic field.

Pictured above in 2002 October, NASA's Sun-orbiting
SOHO spacecraft imaged an
impressively large prominence
hovering over the surface, informally dubbed a flame.

Over 40 Earths could line up along the vast length of the
fireless flame of hovering
hot gas.

A quiescent prominence typically lasts about a month, and may erupt in a
Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)
expelling hot gas into the
Solar System.

Although somehow related to the Sun's changing
magnetic field, the energy mechanism that creates and sustains a
Solar prominence is still a topic of

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