Canyon Of Fire

  • Released Thursday, December 12th, 2013
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:51PM
View full credits

In September 2013, a 200,000-mile-long loop of solar material erupted in the sun's atmosphere leaving behind what looks like a canyon of fire. These giant loops, called filaments, consist of charged particles held in place by magnetic fields that extend out from the sun’s surface. On September 29-30, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft watched as a filament about 25 times the Earth’s width expanded and then collapsed just north of the sun’s equator. Moments later, it saw a glowing canyon trace the channel where magnetic fields held the structure aloft. Watch the video to see the event unfold.

The glowing canyon is most easily seen in this image, which shows material at temperatures of 1,800,000°F.

The glowing canyon is most easily seen in this image, which shows material at temperatures of 1,800,000°F.

Charged particles coursing along magnetic field lines are seen in this image, which shows material at temperatures of 1,000,000°F.

Charged particles coursing along magnetic field lines are seen in this image, which shows material at temperatures of 1,000,000°F.

This image shows relatively cooler material on the sun at temperatures of 90,000°F.

This image shows relatively cooler material on the sun at temperatures of 90,000°F.

For More Information


App

Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center