Astro photography

Solar Prominence

Solar Prominence, April 19, 2010. This photograph was taken with a hydrogen alpha scope that only shows one wavelength of light, at 656.3 nanometres. This is the particular wavelength of hydrogen alpha light. Observing the Sun in hydrogen alpha makes it possible to see structural details.

Large prominences of plasma lift off the surface of the Sun at tremendous speeds, and they are most easily seen along the edge with the darkness of space behind them. This huge prominence changed shape significantly during the hour and a half that I observed it. At first it looked like an enormous tree, but then its "trunk" became detached from the surface of the Sun, and this glowing cloud then drifted off into space. It would take dozens of Earths to fill the volume of this plasma cloud.

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Steve Irvine
R.R. # 2
Wiarton, Ontario
Canada N0H 2T0
(519) 534 2175