Solar Magnetic Arcade

Solar Magnetic Arcade.

Close-up taken by the TRACE satellite of a massive flare produced by solar active region 9077 (AR9077). The event also blasted a blizzard of charged particles toward Earth, triggering magnetic storms and dramatic auroral displays. The false-color image covers a 230,000 by 170,000 km area on the Sun's surface and was recorded in extreme ultraviolet light. It shows million degree hot solar plasma cooling while suspended in an arcade of magnetic loops. Collectively resembling a slinky, the loops trap the glowing plasma above the relatively dark solar surface. After the flare, AR9077's activity decayed as it was carried farther across the Earth-facing hemisphere of the Sun by solar rotation. Active regions appear as dark sunspots in visible light.

w.wu 2000-2005