Sun in H-Alpha - 2012 Aug 10 - 1

In early August, an enormous filament was seen stretching across the Sun's disk. This image through a hydrogen-alpha filter reveals the filament which is actually a prominence seen in front of the Suns surface. The image is oriented with Celestial North up.

H-alpha is a narrow line at the red end of the visible spectrum. It is caused by a transition in the hydrogen atom when an electron drops from its third to second lowest energy level.

The Sun is composed primarily of hydrogen and its upper atmosphere or chromosphere glows in the red light of h-alpha. A telescope with a specially designed h-alpha filter can reveal amazing structures in the chromosphere that are not visible in white light. Enormous prominences rise above the Sun's surface reaching altitudes of 150,000 km or more. When seen silhouetted against the solar disk prominences are then called filaments. They often underlie coronal mass ejections and are important to the prediction of space weather. Spicules are long thin tubes of luminous gas that can change in a matter of minutes. Powerful magnetic explosions known as solar flares form in the most active regions and eject clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the Sun's corona into space.

Technical Details


Sun in H-Alpha - 2012 Aug 10

Sun in H-alpha
Sun and Filament - 1
2012 Aug 10

Sun in H-alpha
Sun and Filament - 2
2012 Aug 10

Sun in H-alpha
Sun and Filament - 3
2012 Aug 10

Sun in H-alpha
Sun and Filament - 4
2012 Aug 10

Sun in H-alpha
Sun and Filament - 5
2012 Aug 10

Sun in H-alpha
Sun and Filament - 6
2012 Aug 10




AstroPixels Links

| 2012 Sun Photo Gallery | 2014 Sun Photo Gallery |
 |
Conjunctions Gallery |
Moon Photo Gallery |
Moon Phases Photo Gallery |
 |
Constellations Photo Gallery |
Constellations List |
Bright Stars Gallery |
50 Brightest Stars List |
 |
Open Clusters |
Globular Clusters |
Diffuse Nebulae |
Planetary Nebulae |
Supernovae |
Galaxies |
 |
Messier Catalog Photo Gallery |
Messier Catalog |
Caldwell Catalog Photo Gallery |
Caldwell Catalog |
 |
Recent Images |
AstroPixels Photo Index |