January 24, 2013

NASA SDO – Roger! We Have a Liftoff (January 23, 2013)

A solar prominence arched up and then erupted out from near the Sun’s surface (January 23, 2013). Solar Dynamics Observatory observed the event in extreme ultraviolet light as it evolved over seven hours.

The strand of solar plasma appeared to perform a somersault as it expanded and disappeared into space. The disruption to the magnetic fields in the area generated the coiling and spreading wave-like action below the site of the event. Solar prominences are unstable clouds of cooler gases suspended above the Sun’s surface by magnetic forces.

Credit: NASA SDO

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