STEREO - Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory
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Prominence Break-up

image173

A very long prominence arched up in its middle section, then broke into two, and both parts erupted into space (Nov. 22-23, 2011) as STEREO (Ahead) observed the action. The prominence had been in the view of SDO for about two weeks before it finally became unstable. The image shows the Sun (red) in extreme UV light superimposed on a coronagraph (green), in which the Sun is blocked by an occulting disk to reveal features in the corona. Prominences are clouds of cooler gases that are suspended above the Sun by magnetic forces. A close-up video of this eruption as observed by SDO can be viewed here: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/potw.php?v=item&id=76


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