Pick of The Week
 
 

Solar Flames (October 25, 2002)

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  • Two solar prominences, seen in extreme ultraviolet light (ionized helium at 304), flared away from the Sun on 25 October 2002, looking like tongues of flames. The single still image shows one and the series of images shows the other.

    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 prominence seems to extend at least 40 Earths. The time period of every movie is about one hour.

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