Solar Prominences, May 1, 2008. 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. Prominences follow powerful magnetic fields generated by the Sun, and often form a loop pattern. The Earth would be about one third the height of the main prominence.
Astro Photography Home Page