Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

June 16, 1998
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An Active Region of the Sun
Credit: A. Title (Stanford Lockheed Institute), TRACE, NASA

Explanation: The Sun is a busy place. This false-color image depicts an active region near an edge of the Sun. Hot plasma is seen exploding off the Sun's photosphere and traveling along loops defined by the Sun's magnetic field. The red regions are particularly hot, indicating that some magnetic field loops carry hotter gas than others. These active loops were so large that the Earth could easily fit under one. The TRACE satellite was launched in April with plans to continue high-resolution imaging as the Sun passes Solar Maximum in the next few years.

Tomorrow's picture: The SDSS Telescope

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
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&: Michigan Tech. U.