Huge solar filament stretches across the Sun

Aug 07, 2012 By Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today
High resolution full disc hydrogen alpha composite of the Sun on August 5, 2012, comprising of 6 images for the disc and 5 images for the prominences.Credit: Paul Andrew on Flickr.

The Sun wanted to let us know there was action going on in other places in the Solar System besides Mars.

A huge, dark-colored stretched across nearly half the solar face on August 5th.

Estimates are this filament was about 800,000 km in length! Wow!

Credit: 11 images combined to create this view of a large filament on the Sun. Credit: Leonard Mercer.

Paul Andrew took six images to create a composite, full image of the Sun, and below is an 11-panel mosaic by Leonard Mercer from Malta to show the surrounding region with the main 1535, 1538, 1540 present.

Explore further: Comet Siding Spring whizzes past Mars

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User comments : 7

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Jitterbewegung
5 / 5 (3) Aug 07, 2012
Looks like crack in the universe is real;-)
sennekuyl
5 / 5 (1) Aug 07, 2012
Thats how the light gets in?
SoylentGrin
not rated yet Aug 07, 2012
Thats how the light gets in?


Leonard Cohen rules.
Shelgeyr
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 07, 2012
@Jitterbewegung: I am quite curious as to how (or even if) they're going to resolve that this upcoming season. Especially if there's not going to be an overall story arc. And by "resolve", of course I mean "find out who did it and how", since the crack has apparently already been closed.

Good call on the photo, by the way!
sennekuyl
5 / 5 (1) Aug 09, 2012
@Shelgeyr: Now I can't remember if the TARDIS blowing up had been revealed. I was thinking it was.

So what causes this filament? Is it a solar version of continental plate?
Satene
1 / 5 (1) Aug 09, 2012
Nope, it's based on reconnection of magnetic fields in corona high above the solar surface. Such phenomena is not very rare...
Shelgeyr
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2012
@sennekuyl: Well, they "un-blew it up" at the end of "Big Bang", but unless I've seriously missed an episode that has to coincidentally be missing from Wikipedia's episode list as well, then I'm pretty sure they haven't revealed who actually blew it up, much less how.

As far as this particular filament is concerned - same story as all the rest. It is a field-aligned (i.e. Birkeland) current, as are all such expressions of solar irritability. Nothing spooky or even that mysterious about it, beyond our overall need to study the phenomena in considerably greater detail.

Oh, and I know this comment won't be popular, but nonetheless here goes: "Magnetic reconnection" is a myth. It is the term applied to exploding double-layers in energized plasma by those who are unfamiliar with plasma double-layers. Unfortunately, the term has stuck and become commonplace.