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
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