Twisting Prominence (October 15, 2010)
Hi-res TIF image (2.2M)
The STEREO (Ahead) spacecraft caught this tumultuous solar prominence as it twisted and turned over about 18 hours, as seen in profile above the Sun?s surface, before disappearing (Oct. 8, 2010). The cloud of cooler gases, suspended by magnetic forces, is seen here in extreme ultraviolet wavelength at about 60,000 degrees C. Other plasma also in profile can be seen flowing directionally along magnetic field lines back into and breaking away from the Sun. Prominences occur fairly often, but the twisting gyrations of this one caught our attention. The small, whiter area on the Sun not far above it is an active region, which can produce solar flares.
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.
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