Epic Filament Eruption from the Sun

NASA image captured December 6, 2010

To view a video of this event go here: www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/5258354738

A very long solar filament that had been snaking around the Sun erupted (Dec. 6, 2010) with a flourish. STEREO (Behind) caught the action in dramatic detail in extreme ultraviolet light of Helium. It had been almost a million km long (about half a solar radius) and a prominent feature on the Sun visible over two weeks earlier before it rotated out of view. Filaments, elongated clouds of cooler gases suspended above the Sun by magnetic forces, are rather unstable and often break away from the Sun.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/SOHO

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