This image of the Sun was taken by a hydrogen-alpha telescope on April 25, 2013. There are several prominences surrounding the disk of the Sun, both on the top and left side of the image. The largest prominence stands several times the size of the Earth. Prominences are magnetic loops on the Sun. Plasma moves along the loops, causing them to appear bright against space.
There is also a large sunspot group, an area of intense magnetic activity on the Sun. Surrounding these dark sunspots are lighter areas called plages. These bright plages are actually hot clouds of gas above the sunspot. Their name comes from the French word for “beach.”
Telescope: Lunt 100 mm hydrogen-alpha
Camera: Lumenera SKYnyx 2-2M
Image Number: WEB13027-2013
Credit: Image by Katie Nagy and Kaitlin Evans, Smithsonian Public Observatory Project
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