Polar Plumes

Polar Plumes

. Close-up, extreme ultraviolet views of the south polar coronal hole (large dark region) obtained with the SOHO EIT instrument on 8 May 1996. The fast component of the solar wind emanates from these coronal holes. Plumes can be seen emerging from tiny bright spots, but they are not the main source of the high-speed winds. These images were taken in the extreme ultraviolet light of highly ionized iron - the Fe XII emission line at 19.5 nanometers (top), formed at a temperature of about 1.5 million degrees Kelvin, and the Fe IX/X emission lines near 17.1 nanometers (bottom), formed at a temperature of about 1.0 million degrees Kelvin. (Courtesy of the SOHO EIT consortium. SOHO is a project of international collaboration between ESA and NASA.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University