One half million mile solar filament

August 13, 2012
Credit: NASA/SDO

This image (above) from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows a very long, whip-like solar filament extending over half a million miles in a long arc above the sun’s surface.

Filaments are cooler clouds of solar material that are tethered above the ’s surface by unstable magnetic forces.

The image and video (below), which covers August 6 to 8, 2012 show the filament as a darker strand that has been in view for several days. Towards the end of the video part of the filament seems to break away, but its basic length and shape seem to have remained mostly intact.

Explore further: Huge solar filament stretches across the Sun

Related Stories

Huge coronal hole is sending solar wind our way

March 14, 2012

An enormous triangular hole in the Sun’s corona was captured earlier today by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, seen above from the AIA 211 imaging assembly. This gap in the Sun’s atmosphere is allowing more ...

Prelude to an X-Class solar flare

July 17, 2012

What takes place on the Sun before it unleashes a huge solar flare? It’s a thing of beauty, and observations from the Solar Dynamics Observatory are helping scientists understand how magnetic energy on the Sun creates ...

Solar Dynamics Observatory goes for a spin

April 9, 2012

(Phys.org) -- On April 4, 2012, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) did a 360. It rolled completely around its axis – something it does twice a year. In this movie, the dizzying view looks as if the sun went for ...

SDO's crazy-looking Sun due to syzygy

April 4, 2011

It looks like something is eating the Sun in recent pictures from the Solar Dynamics Observatory — and in recent SDO videos, the Sun suddenly disappears! What is going on? Could it be aliens, Planet X, or the Great Galactic ...

Recommended for you

Bursts of methane may have warmed early Mars

January 24, 2017

The presence of water on ancient Mars is a paradox. There's plenty of geographical evidence that rivers periodically flowed across the planet's surface. Yet in the time period when these waters are supposed to have run—three ...

Gaia turns its eyes to asteroid hunting

January 24, 2017

While best known for its surveys of the stars and mapping the Milky Way in three dimensions, ESA's Gaia has many more strings to its bow. Among them, its contribution to our understanding of the asteroids that litter the ...

Dwarf galaxies shed light on dark matter

January 23, 2017

The first sighting of clustered dwarf galaxies bolsters a leading theory about how big galaxies such as our Milky Way are formed, and how dark matter binds them, researchers said Monday.

One of the brightest distant galaxies known discovered

January 23, 2017

An international team led by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL) has discovered one of the brightest "non-active" galaxies in the early universe. Finding ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.