Solar Eruption

TRACE 171Å image of an erupting solar filament above Active Region 9077 on July 19, 2000. Filaments are concentrated bundles of magnetic field filled with relatively cool gas, suspended in the solar corona.

TRACE 171Å image of an erupting solar filament above Active Region 9077 on July 19, 2000. Filaments are concentrated bundles of magnetic field filled with relatively cool gas, suspended in the solar corona. When they become unstable, they can erupt, triggering coronal mass ejections and solar flares. The dark material here is relatively cool, while the bright material is hotter than a million degrees. As this hot material cools, it condenses and drains down the lines of magnetic field in the corona much like beads moving along a wire, a process some scientists refer to as “coronal rain.” (Caption courtesy Dan Seaton, Photo courtesy Dick Shine, NASA/TRACE)

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