The Sun Just Spat Out a Massive Solar Filament

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Last week, the Sun spat out a massive solar filament that extended the star’s visible hemisphere by almost half. This image of that huge lick of plasma was captured by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).

Solar filaments are unstable strands of plasma that loop out of the sun because of strong magnetic fields that push them outwards. Occasionally, the forces become such that they get spat out further into space — like this one. The image was captured by the Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph aboard SOHO. The block-colour annulus is used to block the intense light at the surface of the Sun, allowing the image to be captured in more detail. [NASA]