Twisting and Eclipsing on the Sun

A video posted today by the team at NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows two recent events on the Sun: a twisting prominence and the “eclipse” of a plasma eruption by the structure of a darker, cooler filament. Most impressive!

From the SDO team:

Over the past 24 hours we have seen some beautiful solar events. None of them have a direct impact on Earth, but they are astonishing to watch. It just shows how an active star our Sun really is… far from boring! 

On December 8, 2011 a twisting prominence eruption occurred on the lower eastern limb. The view through the AIA 304 angstrom filter shows us this beautiful eruption. 

A filament partially blocks SDO's view of erupting plasma on Dec. 9. (NASA/SDO)
In the early hours of December 9, 2011 SDO observed a little bit of a different eclipse. An erupting cloud of plasma was eclipsed by a dark magnetic filament. The eruption is still on the far side of the Sun, behind the eastern limb and is slowly moving forward and over the limb sometime next week. 

In front you can observe the filament of relatively cool dark material floating across the Sun’s surface in the foreground. That filament partially blocks the view of the hot plasma eruption behind it. 

Excellent footage of our constantly-active Sun! It’s easy to forget too that these events and structures are many, many times larger than our entire planet… the sheer power of a star is quite an impressive thing to see. Thanks to SDO we get an unblinking front-row seat to all the action!

See more from SDO on the mission site here.

Thanks to Camilla Corona SDO, the team’s mascot, official spokesbird and all-around “hot chick”!

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