Last updated on April 25, 2014 at 1:22 EDT
Fly Away Prominence
32 of 272

Fly Away Prominence

August 23, 2013
Elements of a feathery solar prominence shifted and twisted before finally erupting into space as observed in extreme ultraviolet light by SDO (Aug. 14-15, 2013). The dark matter that we see in the prominence is actually part of cooler gases suspended above the Sun's surface by powerful though unstable magnetic forces. The triggering mechanism is not well understood, but some change caused the prominence to break away from the Sun, a fairly common phenomenon. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA.