WHAT'S INSIDE THE GIANT MAGNETIC SLINKY?
A giant, slinky-shaped column of magnetism has formed on the sun, shown below in an extreme UV image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. What's inside the curly column? Click on the image to find out:
It's a dark solar filament--essentially, a tendril of plasma more than 1,000,000 km long held suspended above the surface of the sun by magnetic forces. If the filament becomes unstable and erupts, it could hurl parts of itself into space. Pieces of the filament falling back to the solar surface would explode upon impact, creating one or more Hyder flares.
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