Huge Solar Filament Stretches Across the Sun

Article written: 6 Aug , 2012
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015

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.


7 Responses

  1. *Deep in Curiosity coverage*

    Huh? The what? Oh, the sun. Yep, cool!

    *Back to Curiosity stuff*


  2. The Latinist says

    Wouldn’t 800,000 km make it the longest filament on record?

  3. kkt says

    Looks like a hair across the eyepiece of the scope…

  4. Member
    Aqua4U says

    Bang! BOOM! Mr. Sol is only just starting to act out as we approach Solar Max… I’ll be watching! Am SO glad Curiosity will be monitoring this radiation too. Data from the cruise phase should prove invaluable…

  5. rkeen78 says

    All of the scales are wrong in that picture, both in size and distance. The moon isn’t even a pixel when compared to an earth that size. In addition, the distance from the earth to the moon is about 239,000 miles on average, and the diameter of the sun is 865,000 miles. So the distance from the earth to the moon is about 27% the diameter of the sun. Last, if that filament is 500,000 miles long, it should reach across 60% of the diameter of the sun. The curvature of the sun might explain that, but even that looks short. In other words, everything about this picture is wrong, and the length of the filament appears overstated.

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