Prominence, Exit Stage Left (July 17, 2009)
An eruptive solar prominence broke away from the Sun's surface over a several hour period (July 11-12, 2009) as the STEREO (Behind) spacecraft observed. Prominences are dynamic clouds of cooler gas embedded in the Sun's hot outer atmosphere and sustained by magnetic fields. Sometimes, the magnetic field changes in a way that propels the prominence material off into space. Amateur astronomers can and have seen these events if they are looking at the right time.
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.