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One Half Million Mile Solar Filament
08.10.12
 
Image of a very long, whip-like solar filament extending over half a million miles in a long arc above the sun’s surface. › View larger
Credit: NASA/SDO


This image (above) from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows a very long, whip-like solar filament extending over half a million miles in a long arc above the sun’s surface.

Filaments are cooler clouds of solar material that are tethered above the sun’s surface by unstable magnetic forces.

The image and video (below), which covers August 6 to 8, 2012 show the filament as a darker strand that has been in view for several days. Towards the end of the video part of the filament seems to break away, but its basic length and shape seem to have remained mostly intact.



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.

Related Link
› View Past Solar Eruptions
 
 
Steele Hill and Karen C. Fox
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD