Categories: Astrophotossun

Astrophotos: The Wispy Edge of the Sun

It’s like a total solar eclipse — without the Moon! Using a special hydrogen-alpha filter that completely blocks the Sun’s photosphere (visible surface) these images show just the Sun’s corona and the dancing solar prominences. The filter blocks all light from the Sun except for the red light emitted by excited hydrogen atoms, which are responsible for the distinctive color of prominences and the chromosphere, the wispy, hot layer of gas that overlies the photosphere.

Of course, never look directly at the Sun with the naked eye or through a telescope without a special solar filter.

The image above by Mary Spicer was taken with a Coronado PST, 2 x Barlow plus Canon 1100D. ISO-3200 1/400 second exposure, processed in Lightroom and Focus Magic.

See more below:

Solar prominences on April 21, 2014. Credit and copyright: Roger Hutchinson.

These images by Roger Hutchinson were taken with a Lunt LS60 Ha, Skyris 618C, and 2.5x Powermate.

Solar prominences on May 18, 2014 in H-alpha. Credit and copyright: Roger Hutchinson.

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Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at and and Instagram at and

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