What Are Prominences In Astronomy

What Are Prominences In Astronomy?

A solar prominence (also known as a filament when viewed against the solar disk) is a large bright feature extending outward from the Sun’s surface. Prominences are anchored to the Sun’s surface in the photosphere and extend outwards into the Sun’s hot outer atmosphere called the corona.Mar 6 2015

What are prominences?

Prominences are clouds of incandescent ionized gas ejected from the Sun’s surface. They are also some of the most dramatic phenomena in the solar system the equivalent of thousand-mile-high storms that can rage for months.

What are prominences and flares?

A prominence is a bright relatively dense and relatively cool arched cloud of ionized gas in the chromosphere and corona of the Sun. … A solar flare is a sudden brief (typically lasting only a few minutes) and explosive release of solar magnetic energy that heats and accelerates the gas in the Sun’s atmosphere.

What are solar prominences for kids?

A solar prominence (also known as a filament) is an arc of gas that erupts from the surface of the Sun. Prominences can loop hundreds of thousands of miles into space. Prominences are held above the Sun’s surface by strong magnetic fields and can last for many months.

What is the difference between sunspots and prominences?

Sunspots occur in pairs because each is one side of a loop of the Sun’s magnetic field that reaches the Sun’s surface. These spots are cooler and darker than the rest of the Sun’s surface and they are marked by intense magnetic activity. Solar prominences are the plasma loops that connect two sunspots.

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What are the two types of prominences?

There are two basic types of prominences: (1) quiescent or long-lived and (2) transient. The former are associated with large-scale magnetic fields marking the boundaries of unipolar magnetic regions or sunspot groups. Because the large unipolar plates are long-lived the quiescent prominences are as well.

What causes a prominence?

Prominences are shaped by the Sun’s complex magnetic field often forming loops with each end “anchored” to the Sun’s surface (photosphere). Prominences are enormous extending for many thousands of kilometers (miles). Prominences can last for several days – or up to several months!

Do solar flares cause prominences?

Most often these eruptions are in the form of loops and sheets called prominences which remain under the control of the intense magnetic fields associated with solar storms. There are other events which in a matter of minutes can release enormous amounts of energy and eject material out into space.

Is a solar storm the same as a solar flare?

According to NASA a solar flare is an intense burst of radiation that comes from the release of magnetic energy linked with the sunspots. … Solar storm is essentially a term used to describe atmospheric effects that are experienced on Earth from events like coronal mass ejections and solar flares that occur on the Sun.

What do prominences and solar flares have in common?

What do sunspots solar prominences and solar flares all have in common? They are all strongly influenced by magnetic fields on the Sun. … Coronal mass ejections and other activity associated with the sunspot cycle can disrupt radio communications and knock out sensitive electronic equipment.

How do prominences affect Earth?

Prominences are associated with the release of high energy particles known as a solar flare. … The solar flare aspect of a prominence has the most common effect on the earth. Normally the magnetic field surrounding earth deflects harmful solar radiation.

What is the difference between a prominence and a filament?

When viewed spewing from the edge of the Sun against the darkness of space astronomers call the feature a prominence. But when seen against the background of the Sun from a different perspective the feature appears darker than its surroundings and is called a filament.

What does the prominence of the sun do?

These loops of plasma are solar prominences and they can measure many times larger than Earth’s diameter. Prominences push out into the Sun’s thin extremely hot atmosphere called the corona. They radiate at lower temperatures than the corona itself.

What is the phase of matter in the Sun?

The Sun is our nearest star. It is as all stars are a hot ball of gas made up mostly of Hydrogen. The Sun is so hot that most of the gas is actually plasma the fourth state of matter. The first state is a solid and it is the coldest state of matter.

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What is the cause of sunspots flares and prominences?

Solar flares are a sudden explosion of energy caused by tangling crossing or reorganizing of magnetic field lines near sunspots. The surface of the Sun is a very busy place. It has electrically charged gases that generate areas of powerful magnetic forces. These areas are called magnetic fields.

What causes a solar prominence?

The prominence plasma flows along a tangled and twisted structure of magnetic fields generated by the sun’s internal dynamo. An erupting prominence occurs when such a structure becomes unstable and bursts outward releasing the plasma.

Which statements describe prominences?

Prominences are composed of cool dense gas. Prominences can disturb radio communications on Earth. Prominences are loop shaped.

Do prominences look dark in regular photographs?

The pictures show ultraviolet light the hotter the temperature the brighter the light. Although the gas in a prominence is unimaginably hot by human standards it is actually cool compared to the Sun’s surface. Compared to the mottled yellow of the surface the filament looks dark.

When prominences join they cause sunspots solar flares?

Solar prominences are the plasma loops that connect two sunspots. Solar flares and coronal mass ejections are eruptions of highly energetic particles that can erupt from the Sun’s surface and cause problems with power grids and communications on Earth.

Can we see prominences?

But as you point out anyone can see prominences any day with the aid of a telescope fitted with a hydrogen-alpha (Hα) filter. … The hydrogen emission is responsible for the distinctive color of prominences and the chromosphere the tenuous hot layer of gas overlying the photosphere.

What causes Coronalholes?

Coronal holes occur when the Sun’s magnetic field is open to interplanetary space. Conversely in regions where the solar magnetic fields loop back to the Sun forming arches X-ray and UV images show bright areas.

What happens when prominences connect?

photosphere. These sun features are explosions of hot gas that occur when prominences connect. They shoot from the Sun’s surface releasing tremendous amounts of energy into space.

How do geomagnetic storms affect humans?

Does the Earth’s magnetic field affect human health? The Earth’s magnetic field does not directly affect human health. … High-altitude pilots and astronauts can experience higher levels of radiation during magnetic storms but the hazard is due to the radiation not the magnetic field itself.

What is a CME NASA?

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are large expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun’s corona. … They expand in size as they propagate away from the Sun and larger CMEs can reach a size comprising nearly a quarter of the space between Earth and the Sun by the time it reaches our planet.

What is CME astronomy?

Bottom line: Coronal mass ejections – also knowns as CMEs – are powerful eruptions on the sun’s surface. Caused by instabilities in the sun’s magnetic field they can launch a billion tons of superheated gas into space.

What is the Soho project?

SOHO the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory is a project of international collaboration between ESA and NASA to study the Sun from its deep core to the outer corona and the solar wind. SOHO was launched on December 2 1995. … NASA was responsible for the launch and is now responsible for mission operations.

What are some differences between solar flares and prominences on the Sun?

A typical solar flare may last from few minutes to few hours and can be observed as bright areas on the Sun. … A prominence is anchored to the Sun’s surface unlike a flare and is often characterized by a loop shape. A prominence is bound by the Sun’s magnetic field and can last for months.

How are CMEs solar prominences and solar flares similar?

“Sometimes they occur together but they are not the same thing.” CMEs are giant clouds of particles from the Sun hurled out into space while flares are flashes of light—occurring in various wavelengths—on the Sun.

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What happens when a prominence breaks down?

Prominences are anchored to the Sun’s surface in the photosphere and extend outwards into the solar corona. … Some prominences break apart and may then give rise to coronal mass ejections.

What are the solarwinds?

The solar wind is a stream of charged particles released from the upper atmosphere of the Sun called the corona. This plasma mostly consists of electrons protons and alpha particles with kinetic energy between 0.5 and 10 keV.

When Can NASA scientists most easily study the sun’s corona?

The results were published in the Astrophysical Journal on June 3. The corona is most easily seen during a total solar eclipse — when the moon is directly between the Earth and Sun blocking sunlight.

What is a Plage on the Sun?

A plage is a bright region in the chromosphere of the Sun typically found in and around active regions. The term itself is poetically taken from the French word for “beach”.

Why do the sunspots appear dark?

Sunspots are “dark” because they are cooler than their surroundings. … Sunspots have a lighter outer section called the penumbra and a darker central region named the umbra. Sunspots are caused by disturbances in the Sun’s magnetic field welling up to the photosphere the Sun’s visible “surface”.

Are filaments in the chromosphere?

”) The chromosphere is most easily viewed in emission lines such as Hydrogen alpha where bright regions known as plages and dark features called filaments are visible. Filaments are the name given to prominences when they are seen on the solar disk. Spicules are visible in the chromosphere on the limb of the sun.

What is a Solar Prominence?

Sunspots Prominences and Solar Flares


Astronomy: Prominence Filaments and Sunspots

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