Mon, 14 Nov 2011 22:45 CST
For the past few days, astronomers around the world have been monitoring a dark filament of magnetism sprawled more than 1,000,000 kilometers across the face of the sun. Make that 750,000 km. On Nov. 14th the filament snapped and flung a fraction of itself into space. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the action:
Click here to watch a 3Mb movie.
The eruption hurled a cloud of plasma into space, but not toward Earth. The only effect on our planet would be to disappoint observers hoping for a longer filament.
Meanwhile, a wall of plasma towering over the sun's SE limb is seething with activity
and may be poised to erupt as well. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.
From Sylvain Weiller
of Saint Rémy lès Chevreuse, France; from John Stetson
of Falmouth, Maine; from Chris Hetlage
of Deerlick Astronomy Village, Georgia; from David Cortner
of Rutherford College, North Carolina; from Jo Dahlmans
of Ulestraten The Netherlands; from Francisco A. Rodriguez
of the Canary Islands; from Ron Cottrell
of Oro Valley, Arizona; from Gianfranco Meregalli
of Milano Italy; from Roel Weijenberg
of Wilp, Gelderland, Netherlands; from Andy Burns
of Chippenham, Wiltshire, UK.