Saturday, January 22, 2011

Eruptive prominence!

This morning's observation of the sun was quite a treat.  Not only are there two attractive Active Regions (AR) near the center of the Sun's face, but there was a massive eruptive prominence on the northwestern limb.  My sketch below does not do justice to the brightness and detail of the prominence, but it does give you an idea of the size.  For reference, the prominence is likely at least 10-12 earth diameters high! ( It would take about 110 earths lined up to cross the diameter of the Sun).

The sketch was completed at 1625 UT (9:25 MST) under very steady skies.  During the time of the sketch, the prominence was changing rapidly- every time I would look at it after drawing in one of the active region details it had evolved.  I drew the prominence first and by the time I finished the drawing, the prominence looked entirely different. Below are images (reversed left to right from my drawing) from the Solar Dynamics Observatory in hydrogen alpha and white light.  The white light image shows the sunspots associated with the two AR's. Due to some delay in data, the images are from several hours prior to my sketch.

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