Fo Sizzle

A beautiful photo by Alan Friedman showing a solar prominence twisting high – as in, tens of thousands of miles high – above the surface of the Sun. This image was taken on June 2, 2010 through Friedman’s hydrogen alpha telescope. This allows us to see the complex texture of the Sun’s surface, called the…

Showing Some Flare

After weeks of waiting patiently, the first images are finally here! This video shows an arching prominence erupting from the surface of the Sun on March 30, 2010, as seen by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in beautiful IMAX-quality high resolution. (By the way, AIA stands for Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, one of the three main tools…

Seeing Spots

A gorgeous photo of our Sun by Alan Friedman, taken from his location in Buffalo, NY and uploaded to his site on February 7, shows a huge string of sunspots and an energetic region of prominences, as well as the granules and spicules that create the Sun’s surface texture. Sunspot 1045, the string seen here,…

A Stormy Star

This video from the SOHO solar observatory spacecraft shows a a partial rotation of the Sun seen in ultraviolet light (the green color is from the specialized camera filter, corresponding to emissions at 1.5 million degrees Kelvin.) In the Sun’s northern hemisphere an energetic area of solar prominences can be seen, tens of thousands of…

Sun Dance

This mesmerizing animation by photographer Alan Friedman shows a solar prominence as it changes structure over the course of 78 minutes. Solar prominences are eruptions of hot gases extending from the sun’s surface, held together by magnetic forces which constantly shift and move. They can last for days or months, and extend thousands and even…