Dancing Plasma on the Sun

This video from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows about 18 hours worth of a stellar show of suspended plasma from the Sun. Lofted in twisted magnetic fields, the hot plasma structure is several times the size of planet Earth.

The SDO team explains that prominences are huge clouds of relatively cool dense plasma suspended in the Sun’s hot, thin corona. At times, they can erupt, escaping the Sun’s atmosphere. Emission in this spectral line shows the upper chromosphere at a temperature of about 50,000 K (or 90,000 degrees F). Magnetic fields built up enormous forces that propelled particles out beyond the Sun’s surface.