Flight through the Coronal Loops

  • Released Thursday, October 27th, 2005
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:56PM
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Here we illustrate the potential benefits of the 3-D views of the Sun which STEREO will provide. Starting with a simple 2-D EIT ultraviolet image from SOHO, we transition to a 3-D model and move through the coronal loops which are constructed along solar magnetic fields. The solar model is constructed from magnetogram data collected by SOHO/MDI. Because we do not see the full solar surface at any one time, the magnetograms collected over the course of a solar rotation are processed through a time-evolving solar surface model to provide a snapshot of the surface at a fixed time. The resulting magnetogram is then processed through the Potential Field Source Surface (PFSS) model. Coronal loops are visible at the higher temperatures of ultraviolet light, in this case, 195 angstroms, the filter wavelength of SOHO/EIT. For this version, we color the coronal loops green for ready comparison to the EIT 195 angstrom imagery using the EIT 'standard color table'.

A view of the coronal loops generated by the PFSS model for this time frame.

A view of the coronal loops generated by the PFSS model for this time frame.

Push-in to the solar surface, focused on a small dipolar active region, AR 9731.

Push-in to the solar surface, focused on a small dipolar active region, AR 9731.

Rotating our view to the solar surface, we begin our flight through the upper regions of the solar atmosphere.

Rotating our view to the solar surface, we begin our flight through the upper regions of the solar atmosphere.

We continue the flight throuh the loops, moving along the same heliographic latitude.

We continue the flight throuh the loops, moving along the same heliographic latitude.



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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio


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