Photos of the Sun

Solar protuberance The Sun and the giant planets

Solar protuberance The Sun and the giant planets

Hot gas from the Sun frequently erupts. One of these eruptions produced this bump that shows the illustration, taken on July 19, 2000 by the TRACE artificial satellite.

The bump, although small compared to the rest of the size of the Sun, is over 100,000 kilometers high, so it could easily catch Earth completely inside its outstretched arms. The gas in the protuberance is linked to the complex and changing magnetic fields of the Sun.

Most bulges eventually decay, once they move away from the surface of the Sun. The most powerful solar eruptions emit particles that can reach Earth and some manage to spoil artificial satellites. The question of many investigations is the origin and nature of solar eruptions.

◄ PreviousNext ►
Incandescent solar ballSolar spicules
Album: Photos of the Solar System Gallery: The Sun and the giant planets