Long Distance Loops (November, 21 2002)
The linkage of active regions far from each other via their magnetic
field lines is very striking in this extreme ultraviolet image of the
Sun (20 November 2002). The lengthiest and most unusual linkage
(marked "A") stretches across about one third the face of the Sun,
which would be about 300,000 miles (500,000 kilometers). In the
second instance (marked "B"), field lines from a region on the right
side reach back around to an active region, marked by the coils of
magnetic loops above it, just around the edge of the Sun. The length
of that reach, though harder to determine, is almost as long as "A".
Also, large loops of charged plasma clearly rise up and arc back down
to the active region at the higher of the two "A" arrows.|
In a low-density but highly ionized gas (or "plasma") such as the Sun's outer atmosphere, the magnetic field rules: charged particles must spiral around closely aligned, loop-like magnetic fields. The closed magnetic loops originate in bright "active regions" in this image of 1 million K material in the lower corona. The blue Sun (171Å) images ionized iron at 1 million degrees C.
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.