Somersaulting Prominence (September 19, 2008)
A writhing solar prominence reached up above the Sun, wiggled there for a while, then a part of it did a somersault before reforming itself in a spike-like shape. Scientists have observed prominences twist and shape themselves in many different ways, but a somersault spin is pretty rare. The STEREO (Ahead) spacecraft caught the action in the 304 Angstroms wavelength of ultraviolet light over almost a two-day period (Sept. 10-11, 2008). The material observed is at about 60,000 degrees. Prominences are cooler clouds of gas suspended above the Sun by often competing magnetic forces.
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.