Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
September 18, 1997
Explanation: On August 27th twisting magnetic fields propelled this huge eruptive prominence a hundred thousand miles above the Sun's surface. The seething plasma of ionized gases is at a temperature of about 150,000 degrees Farenheit and spans over 200,000 miles (about 27 Earths). The Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) onboard the space-based SOHO observatory recorded this exquisitely detailed image in the light of ionized Helium atoms from its vantage point in a Halo orbit. This is the largest solar prominence observed by SOHO instruments since they began exploring solar phenomena in early 1996.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.