Afternoon Delight

Large prominence seen by SDO on April 11

I spotted this on the SDO site late this afternoon…it shows an eruption of plasma from the Sun’s photosphere that stretches out many tens of thousands of miles…the Earth could easily fit many times over beneath the looping structure! This image is from about 5pm EDT (21:59 UT), and shows the eastern limb of the Sun, just north of its equator.

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.

Check out a video of the prominence in action here on my YouTube channel.

Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams. Edited by J. Major.