Rising Solar Prominence (May 6, 2011)
Hi-res TIF image (2.2M)
A cloud of plasma (solar prominence) rose up above the Sun as SOHO was taking an image of it (Apr. 24, 2011). Prominences, which are often unstable, are cooler clouds of gas suspended not far above the Sun by magnetic forces. This one must have been breaking away and heading out into space. With the EIT imagers taking an image every 6 hours in each of its four wavelengths, we were lucky to catch this event in mid-step so to speak. The movie shows the eruption as observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.