Huge Solar Filament Stretches Across the Sun

by Nancy Atkinson on August 6, 2012

Caption: 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 filament stretched across nearly half the solar face on August 5th. Estimates are this filament was about 800,000 km in length! Wow! 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 sunspots 1535, 1538, 1540 present.


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

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

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