NASA has released an image of a huge solar prominence obtained by its Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft.
A solar prominence, also called a filament, form quickly. They are “attached” to the sun’s photosphere and extend outward into our star’s corona. While scientists are not sure why they form, the gas that constitutes the solar prominence is suspended above the sun by magnetic forces generated by the star.
The red-hued material in the solar prominence is plasma, a fourth state of matter created when gas is subjected to a strong magnetic field such as the that produced by the sun.
Each filament can extend hundreds of thousands of miles out into space.
The image was taken at the ultraviolet range of the electromagnetic spectrum.