|What's happened to our Sun?
Last week, it produced one of the most power eruptive prominences ever seen.
Pictured here, the prominence erupted in only a few hours and was
captured in movie form by NASA's twin Sun-orbiting
A quiescent solar prominence is a cloud of hot
solar gas held above the Sun's surface by the Sun's
Unpredictably, however, prominences may erupt,
expelling hot gas into the
solar system via a
Coronal Mass Ejection (CME).
As pictured here, many Earths would easily fit under the expanding ribbon of hot gas. Although somehow related to the Sun's changing magnetic field, the energy mechanism that creates and sustains a solar prominence is still a topic of research.