Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

July 8, 1999

Eruptive Prominence
Credit: SOHO - EIT Consortium, ESA, NASA

Explanation: Activity on our parent star continues to increase as the sun approaches a maximum in its 11-year solar cycle, expected in the year 2000. On June 14 - only a week before the solstice - the space-based SOHO observatory recorded this stunning view of an immense prominence erupting from the sun's southern latitudes (south is up). The false-color image was made in the extreme Ultraviolet light produced by ionized Helium atoms in the solar plasma. Earth dwellers fortunate enough to be well located in Europe, the Middle East, Asia may be able to view for themselves activity above the solar limb during the upcoming August solar eclipse - the last total eclipse of the second millennium.

Tomorrow's picture: Star Cluster

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.