Giant Filaments on the Sun

©NASA

Giant Filaments on the Sun

A pair of giant filaments on the face of the sun have formed what appears to be an enormous arrow. If straightened out, each filament would be about as long as the sun's diameter, 1 million miles long.

Filaments are cooler clouds of solar material suspended above the sun's surface by powerful magnetic forces. Filaments can float for days without much change, though they can also erupt, releasing solar material in a shower that either rains back down or escapes out into space, becoming a moving cloud known as a coronal mass ejection, or CME.

This image was captured on May 28, 2015, in combined wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which observes the sun 24 hours a day.

Credit: NASA/SDO Larger image

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