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“Alien Prometheus Prominence” Hovers Over the Sun

Seen the movie “Prometheus” yet? If so, you may recognize one of the creatures in an eerie but beautiful prominence eruption from the Sun today. The folks at the Solar Dynamics Observatory noticed the similarity, too. This video covers almost 15 hours from the early hours of June 18, 2012, showing ultraviolet views from the AIA instrument on SDO. In addition to the hovering alien, look for a big blast from the Sun at about 0:15, too.

“This 304 angstrom channel (red Sun) provides us a very good way of seeing areas where cooler dense plumes of plasma, filaments and prominences, are located above the visible surface of the Sun,” said the SDO team. “The red-glowing looped material is plasma, a hot gas comprised of electrically charged hydrogen and helium. The prominence plasma flows along a tangled and twisted structure of magnetic fields generated by the sun’s internal dynamo. An erupting prominence occurs when such a structure becomes unstable and bursts outward, releasing the plasma.”

There is a also a close-up view in 171 angstrom of this prominence showing the arcs extending off of the Sun where plasma moves along magnetic field lines.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • delphinus100 June 18, 2012, 9:42 PM

    As the song went; “…You might as well be walking on the Sun.”

  • Michael Birch June 18, 2012, 9:51 PM

    meh. :) The sun is cool enough on it’s own, even without the alien doppelganger.

  • Wezley Jackson June 18, 2012, 11:23 PM

    I like the eerie music. Nice work UT

  • .. .__. June 19, 2012, 3:08 AM

    Just as I was watching that video, an image of Neil DeGrasse Tyson appeared on my toast.

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  • zkank June 19, 2012, 3:48 AM

    By coincidence, I saw Prometheus earlier tonight.
    IMHO, Ridley would have had a better movie if he just filmed two hours of the alien orrery.
    Sheesh!

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