SOHO Pick of the Week: Filament Eruption Observed

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2002

  • Movie (Quicktime, 2.7M)
  • Higher resolution version (TIF, 4.2M)

    The two stills and an animation taken in extreme ultraviolet light on 2002 April 27 show the eruption of a long filament above the Sun's surface. Filaments are twisting masses of cooler ("only" 10,000 - 100,000 degrees Kelvin) gas contained by magnetic fields above the Sun's surface in the midst of the much hotter (~ 1,500,000 K) corona. (Filaments are called prominences if observed on the Sun's limb or edge.) In a matter of six hours the filament explodes and virtually disappears, much of it blown out into space. With its EIT telescope taking images every 12 minutes, SOHO was able to clearly capture a the eruption of a filament over 700,000 km long.

    Higher resolution version (TIF, 2.6M)

    The event was associated with a strong coronal mass ejection that was seen a few hours later in this LASCO C2 image as a large expanding cloud of particles.

    Previous Picks of the Week

    SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.

    If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to

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