sábado, 25 de agosto de 2007

Solar eruption

Although the sun is near the lowest ebb of its 11-year activity cycle, spectacular eruptions are still possible. NASA's Stereo-A spacecraft recorded one just last week on August 18th. This is a solar prominence, a cloud of hydrogen held above the surface of the sun by magnetic force fields. Stereo A photographed the prominence just as the magnetic fields became unstable, producing a twisting, spouting eruption large enough to swallow Earth many times over.

Bigger version of this movie here.