Halloween's Erupting Prominence (November 4, 2011)
Hi-res TIF image (1.6M)
A solar prominence that had been hovering above the Sun's surface became unstable and erupted, sending a relatively small cloud of particles headed towards Earth (Oct. 31, 2011). Prominences are elongated clouds of somewhat cooler gases, which are tethered to the Sun by magnetic forces. They can last from days to months, but often they break apart in eruptions. This image and video were taken in extreme ultraviolet light by NASA's STEREO Behind spacecraft. The video clip covers about 12 hours of activity.
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.