Handle-Shaped Prominence on the Sun

Large handle of glowing plasma extending from the Sun.
September 14, 1999
PIA NumberPIA03149
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A huge, handle-shaped prominence erupting from the Sun in 1999.

This image was taken by the international SOHO spacecraft's Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) on Sept. 14, 1999 in the 304 angstrom wavelength.

Prominences are huge clouds of relatively cool dense plasma suspended in the Sun's hot, thin corona. At times, they can erupt, escaping the Sun's atmosphere. Emission in this spectral line shows the upper chromosphere at a temperature of about 60,000 degrees K. Every feature in the image traces magnetic field structure.

The hottest areas appear almost white, while the darker red areas indicate cooler temperatures.