A Big Stretch (April 28, 2005)
Hi-res TIF image (3.5M)
SOHO's EIT 304 Angstrom instrument has again captured an elongated eruptive prominence. This cloud of charged particles from April 21, 2005 is being blown out from the Sun into space. To get a sense of the size of something like this, we placed a white dot about the size of Earth in the image. The eruptive prominence here seems to extend about 20 times the diameter of Earth out from the Sun.
Prominences are huge clouds of relatively cool, dense plasma suspended in the Sun's hot, thin corona. At times, they can erupt, escaping the Sun's atmosphere. Emission in this spectral line of EIT 304 Angstrom shows the gas in the upper solar atmosphere at a temperature of about 60,000 degrees K. This line of emission actually is showing us singly ionized of Helium.
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