Pick of The Week
 
 

Slinky Loops (November 24, 2004)


Hi-res TIF (4.7M)


When the areas above solar active regions are seen in profile in ultraviolet light, quite often we can observe a series of looping structures arcing over it. Such was the case on November 22, 2004. The distinct loops on the left side look something like a slinky that is being held together on one side near the Sun's surface and allowed to expand in a series of tangled broadening arches above that. The loop on the right appears to have one stronger loop with other less distinct ones around it. What we are actually observing are electrically charged particles spiraling around elongated magnetic field lines that have emerged from below the Sun and arc back into it, mute testimony to the magnetic forces that control the activity on the Sun's surface. The temperature of the plasma shown is about 1 million K.

Previous Picks of the Week

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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