Tuesday, September 13, 2016
TWO LONG FILAMENTS
The two most noteworthy features on the sun this week were a pair of elongated filaments (Sept. 8, 2016). The central one was twisted into the shape of an elaborate arch at the center of the sun (yellow arrows). If this were straightened out, it would extend just about across the entire sun, almost a million miles (1.6 million Km). The other, smaller filament, (white arrows) if made straight, might reach about half that distance. Still, pretty impressive. Filaments are elongated strands of plasma suspended above the sun by magnetic forces. They are notoriously unstable and often break apart within a few days. The image was made by combining three images in different wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light.
Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.