Solar Prominence from SOHO
March 30, 2004
One of the most spectacular solar sights is a prominence. A solar prominence is a cloud of solar gas held above the Sun's surface by the Sun's magnetic field. Last month, NASA's Sun-orbiting SOHO spacecraft imaged an impressively large prominence hovering over the surface, pictured above. The Earth would easily fit under the hovering curtain of hot gas. A quiescent prominence typically lasts about a month, and may erupt in a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) expelling hot gas into the Solar System. Although somehow related to the Sun's changing magnetic field, the energy mechanism that creates and sustains a Solar prominence is still a topic of research.
Topics: Environment, Technology Internet, Stars, Plasma physics, Astronomy, the Sun, Quiescent prominence, Space, Solar prominence, Corona, Sun, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, Solar telescopes, Space plasmas, Solar System