Telescope photos captured of the sun on Monday, March twelve, show what seems to be a planet-dimensions shadowy object tethered to the sun by a dim filament. In the picture sequence, a burst of brightly lit materials can be witnessed erupting from the sun's surface encompassing the dim object, right after which the orb detaches from the sun and shoots out into space.
The footage, a composite of photos captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory and processed by scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, has rapidly garnered interest on YouTube, the place viewers are suggesting it shows a UFO spacecraft refueling by sucking up solar plasma, or at the quite minimum, the start of a new world.
However, according to NASA scientists, the function is really a little-comprehended, but frequently observed, sort of solar activity named a "prominence," and the way it is situated beneath another solar characteristic presents it its otherworldy look. [See video]
The thread extending from the decrease left edge of the sun in the video is recognized as a "prominence," a attribute that contains cooler, denser plasma than the bordering 3.5-million-diploma Fahrenheit corona, mentioned Joseph Gurman, project scientist in the Solar Physics Laboratory at NASA Goddard. It isn't yet identified precisely how prominences develop, but these dense plasma loops can lengthen from the sun's surface countless numbers of miles into space.
"When prominences are that prolonged in peak previously mentioned the limb [edge of the sun], it really is generally a sign that they're about to erupt, as this one did," Gurman advised Life's Tiny Mysteries.
C. Alex Youthful, a solar astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center who runs a web site referred to as The Sun Today, discussed that the prominence is located beneath a tunnel-form characteristic called a filament channel ( via foxnews.com ).