Coronal Loops Towering over Big Active Region

As the largest sunspot group of Solar Cycle 24 rotated over to the edge of the Sun, it put on a wonderful display of coronal loops (Oct. 26 - 29, 2014).

This region produced six X-class flares and many more smaller flares over the past 12 days or so. Coronal loops are found around sunspots and in active regions. They are associated with the closed magnetic field lines that connect magnetic regions on the solar surface. Energetic particles spinning along magnetic field lines make visible to us. Many coronal loops last for days or weeks, but most change quite rapidly.

The images combine two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light. Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory

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