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#Science

Stunning snake-like eruption from the Sun captured

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Sun has a lot of surprises in store and every few days we come across stunning images of coronal mass ejections, sunspots, cool streaks across the face of the Sun and quite a few other phenomenon thanks to constant monitoring of the Sun by NASA and ESA through their respective observatories.

The latest to join the set of stunning events is an immense dark filament of solar matter shaped like a snake being blasted away from the Sun this week.

NASA and ESA using their Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) grabbed images of a massive filament that stretched nearly halfway across the face of the Sun peeled away from the surface and blasted out into space on April 28. Filaments, as described by NASA, are unstable strands of plasma suspended above the Sun by magnetic forces.

“Solar astronomers around the world had their eyes on this unusually large filament and were thrilled to see it erupt. Both of SOHO’s coronagraph instruments show the coronal mass ejection associated with the eruption”, notes NASA.

April 28 Sun Filament

The above image is a close-up view from LASCO (Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph), which shows the corona out to a distance of 8.4 million kilometres.

April 28 Sun Filament 2

This one looks at the image to expand the view out to 45 million kilometres.

In the second image, the circle in the middle denotes where the Sun is. The LASCO instrument purposefully blocks the Sun from its view using an occulter disk because if it hadn’t done so, Sun’s intense light would wash out the entire field of view, and we would not see these incredible images.

The eruption wasn’t Earth-directed and hence it poses no danger to Earth, its communications systems or satellites orbiting our planet. For aurora enthusiasts, it means that as the eruption will completely miss us, we won’t be seeing an increased auroral activity either.