Saturday, 14 February 2015

The million kilometer plasma filament

I popped down the observatory to try some solar imaging with the sun low in the sky Sunday 8th Feb. After dodging clouds, I was amazed to spot this filament so clearly through the eyepiece of the solar telescope. I got 20 pictures of it with my DSLR and stacked in PIPP and Registax. The large images taxed my laptop somewhat. Here's the result, exposed for flares (red) and surface detail (green) simultaneously. What an amazing structure this is, about the width of the Earth, suspended above the surface of the sun by magnetic fields. It would wrap around Jupiter's equator with length spare, and fit between the earth and the moon and back! If it fell back on the surface a Hyder flare would erupt, but it hasn't done so in the last few days. The sun is certainly more interesting than you may think!

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