The red-glowing looped material is plasma, a hot gas made of electrically charged hydrogen and helium. The prominence plasma flows along a tangled and twisted structure of magnetic fields generated by the sun’s internal dynamo.
An erupting prominence occurs when such a structure becomes unstable and bursts outward, releasing the plasma.
The action was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. The expanding particle clouds heading into space do not appear to be Earth-directed.
What is a prominence?
For answers to this and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.
Steele Hill and Susan Hendrix
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
Steele Hill and Susan Hendrix | Source: EurekAlert!
Further information: www.nasa.gov
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