Pick of The Week
 
 

PooF! A prominence break-away! (October 18, 2002)

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  • A solar prominence in extreme ultraviolet light (ionized helium at 304), observed for days above the Sun's surface as it rotated towards the Sun's central region, suddenly collapsed and broke away from the Sun on 15 October 2002. Prominences are huge clouds of relatively cool, dense plasma suspended in the Sun's hot, tenuous corona. Magnetic fields built up enormous forces that propelled particles out beyond the Sun's surface. Emission in this spectral line shows the upper chromosphere at a temperature of about 60,000 degrees K. For a sense of scale, the width of the prominence extended about 50 Earths from end to end.

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