Featured Image: Solar Prominence Eruptions

STEREO prominenceIn these images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s AIA instrument (click for the full resolution!), two solar prominence eruptions (one from June 2011 and one from August 2012) are shown in pre- and post-eruption states. The images at the top are taken in the Fe XII λ193 bandpass and the images at the bottom are taken in the He II λ304 bandpass. When a team of scientists searched through seven years of solar images taken by the STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) spacecraft, these two eruptions were found to extend all the way out to a distance of 1 AU. They were the only two examples of clear, bright, and compact prominence eruptions found to do so. The scientists, led by Brian Wood (Naval Research Laboratory), used these observations to reconstruct the motion of the eruption and model how prominences expand as they travel away from the Sun. The image to the right shows a STEREO observation compared to the team’s 3D model of the prominence’s shape and expansion. To learn more about the results from this study, check out the paper below.


Brian E. Wood et al 2016 ApJ 816 67. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/816/2/67