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2 Million Mile long Solar Prominence captured in unprecedented photo

Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 4:22 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News) - A European Space Agency Spacecraft caught a huge Solar Prominence in a photo from the other side of the sun relative to Earth.

A Solar Prominence is much stronger than a solar flare and in this instance, extended 2 million miles out from the Sun. The photo is scientifically significant because never before has a Solar Prominence and the Sun’s full disc (the entire Sun) been captured in a photograph.

“Just recently the sun released the solar prominence which is a very long filament of solar material.” Said Renae Kerrigan, Curator of Science and Planetarium Director at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

If the Prominence had happened in the direction of Earth we would have likely seen digital disruptions similar to what happens during a geomagnetic storm or solar flare.

Kerrigan also tells us that this prominence has happened at the start of what will likely be a very active time for our closest star.

“The Sun goes through an 11-year cycle of solar activity. So it has 11 years of low activity and 11 years of higher activity, and it’s just entering into what we think is an upswing.” Said Kerrigan.

Solar Prominences are relatively common but very difficult to predict. Kerrigan says that scientists are working on understanding the Sun and its activities more and more.

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