Two solar spin-offs (February 8, 2008)
Hi-res TIF image (3.2M)
On Jan. 30, 2008 STEREO (Ahead spacecraft) observed two different kinds of spin-offs from the Sun, called eruptive prominences, over a period of several hours. The first one is harder to see because it is framed against the Sun's surface, but an elongated filament lifts up and breaks off to the right. Soon after this event, a prominence twists up in profile above the Sun's left edge (shown in still) before disappearing into space. Such eruptions are triggered by the instability of magnetic forces that held the prominences in place. These events are fairly common and fun to watch.
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.