Flare Up

A long strand of solar plasma stretches out tens of thousands of miles

I caught this image this morning on the SDO site…it shows an eruption of plasma from the Sun’s photosphere that stretches out several tens of thousands of miles…the hooked loop at the end could easily encircle the entire Earth! This image is from about 11am or so, within a couple of hours the structure had pretty much dissipated.

Prominences like this are caused by superheated solar material flowing along magnetic channels that arc up from deep within the Sun. When these channels break, the plasma contained within them is flung out into space.

I rotated this image 90º, this occurrence took place along the Sun’s southwestern limb.

Image courtesy of SDO (NASA) and the AIA consortium.