[Vision2020] Huge Magnetic Filament Erupts on the Sun

Dave tiedye at turbonet.com
Mon Dec 6 13:01:23 PST 2010


A magnetic filament more than 50 times the Earth's width is erupting off 
the surface of the sun.

The loop of hot plasma has been snaking around the sun 
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GybRTToxSQI>'s southeast limb since Dec. 
4, and appears to be growing by the hour. When NASA's Solar Dynamics 
Observatory <http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/> saw it on Dec. 4, the filament 
was more than 250,000 miles long, about 30 times the diameter of the 
Earth. In this new image, taken at 9:30 a.m. PST on Dec. 6, the loop of 
charged plasma stretches more than 435,000 miles, the full radius of the 

So far the gigantic prominence has hung suspended peacefully above the 
sun's surface, but this morning it started showing signs of instability. 
Long filaments like this one can break apart as coronal mass ejections 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronal_mass_ejection>, releasing tons of 
hot, charged material into the inner solar system and potentially 
causing magnetic storms on Earth. If the filament collapses in the next 
day or so, the results could be spectacular.

Windows, OSX, or Linux is the same choice as:
McDonald's, Burger King, or a (real) Co-Op.

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