This image of the Sun was taken on December 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm EST. Two hydrogen-alpha filters were used, increasing the contrast between the bright plages (typically found near sunspot groups) and dark filaments. The double-stacked filters do not cast even illumination, however, causing the bright stripe across the bottom of the Sun.
There is significant sunspot activity on the Sun today. The filaments and prominences, particularly the bright prominence to the upper right, are sites of other magnetic activity.
The bright prominence erupted and dissipated about 24 hours later, as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory.
Telescope: 60mm Hydrogen-alpha telescope with double-stacked filter.
Camera: Lumenera SKYnyx 2-2M