Giant Filament Erupting into Space

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A huge filament on the southeast of the sun erupted towards the end of June 4. The filament was somewhere between a whopping 500,000 – 1 million km in length. This eruption produced a fairly slow coronal mass ejection that does not appear to have a significant Earthward component.

 

Here is a look at the eruption using the SDO/AIA 304 and 171 angstrom wavelength channels. The filament is most visible in the 304 channel, which is showing us chromospheric plasma with average temperatures of 40,000 to 80,000 Kelvin. The 171 channels shows plasma higher up in the atmosphere (and solar loops) with average temperatures of 800,000 Kelvin. As the filament lifts off into space there is a brightening along either side of it, which is caused by plasma being heated as magnetic field is ripped away from the surface by the rising filament.

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