Fig6_5 Magnetic Loops

Fig6_5 Magnetic Loops

Fig. 6.5 . An electrified, million-degree gas, known as plasma, is channeled by magnetic fields into bright, thin loops. The magnetized loops stretch up to 500,000 kilometers from the visible solar disk, spanning up to 40 times the diameter of planet Earth. The magnetic loops are seen in the extreme ultraviolet radiation of eight and nine times ionized iron, denoted Fe IX and Fe X, formed at a temperature of about 1.0 million K. The hot plasma is heated at the bases of loops near the place where their legs emerge from and return to the photosphere. Bright loops with a broad range of lengths all have a fine, thread-like substructure with widths as small as the telescope resolution of 1 second of arc, or 725 kilometers at the Sun. This image was taken with the Transition Region And Coronal Explorer, abbreviated TRACE, spacecraft. (Courtesy of the TRACE consortium, LMSAL and NASA; TRACE is a mission of the Stanford-Lockheed Institute for Space Research, a joint program of the Lockheed-Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, or LMSAL for short, and Stanford's Solar Observatories Group.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University