A dark solar filament above the sun’s surface became unstable and erupted on December 16-17, 2015, generating a cascade of magnetic arches. A small eruption to the upper right of the filament was likely related to its collapse, says NASA. The arches of solar material appear to glow as they emit light in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, highlighting the charged particles spinning along the sun’s magnetic field lines.
This video, captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), was taken in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths of 193 angstroms, a type of light that is typically invisible to our eyes, but is colorized here in bronze.
Bottom line: A video by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows
magnetic arches cascading across the solar surface on December 16-17, 2015.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.