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Giant Prominence Erupts
04.16.12
 
The prominence shot off the left side of the sun in association with an M1 class flare that was not Earth-directed. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC
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A beautiful prominence eruption producing a coronal mass ejection (CME) shot off the east limb (left side) of the sun on April 16, 2012. Such eruptions are often associated with solar flares, and in this case an M1 class (medium-sized) flare occurred at the same time, peaking at 1:45 PM EDT. The CME was not aimed toward Earth.

Image of solar prominence eruption associated with M1.7 class solar flare.
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An eruption on April 16, 2012 was captured here by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in the 304 Angstrom wavelength, which is typically colored in red. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA



What is a prominence? What is a solar flare? What is a coronal mass ejection?

For answers to these and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.
 
 

Karen C. Fox
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD