Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A 'snake' slithers across the sun

John Roach writes:NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has captured what appears to be a giant snake slithering along the sun's southeastern limb. The feature is actually a magnetic loop of dense gas suspended over the solar surface.

The snaky filament, which was first noticed last week by NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft stationed over the sun's eastern horizon, showed signs of instability and had the potential for an impressive eruption, according to SpaceWeather.com. You've got to see SpaceWeather's time-lapse animated image of the flare-up.

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