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.
2018 June 18
Explanation: Sometimes the Sun's surface becomes a whirlwind of activity. Pictured is a time-lapse video of the Sun's surface taken over a two hour period in early May, run both forwards and backwards. The Sun's surface was blocked out so that details over the edge could be imaged in greater detail. Hot plasma is seen swirling over the solar limb in an ongoing battle between changing magnetic fields and constant gravity. The featured prominence rises about one Earth-diameter over the Sun's surface. Energetic events like this are becoming less common as the Sun nears a minimum in its 11-year activity cycle.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.