Long, Cool Filament (May 21, 2010)
Hi-res TIF image (3.7M)
This SOHO image of an elongated filament, taken in extreme UV light, shows a cooler (and thus darker) string of gases hovering above the Sun's surface (May 20, 2010). The bright regions beneath it, which show where heating is going on in the magnetic field, actually help us see it better. Filaments are clouds of gas that are suspended by tenuous magnetic fields. They are often unstable and commonly erupt. This one is estimated to be at least 50 Earth diameters long (about 500,000 miles).
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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