Solar Prominence, March 22, 2009. 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. Even though the Sun has been very quiet this past year, with only a few inconspicuous sunspots, there are usually at least a few prominences to be seen every day. This prominence was one of the larger ones in recent months that I was able to observe and photograph. Earth would easily fit in between the two towering prominences.
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