IRIS Movie of the Day
At least once a week a movie of the Sun taken by NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) is posted by one of the scientists operating the instrument.
Eruption of a filament
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Paola Testa
Observations of the hot solar outer atmosphere often show long thin structures of cooler and denser gas, supported by the magnetic field at elevated heights. These structures, called filaments (or prominences, when they are observed above the solar limb), after long periods of stability (up to several weeks) can become unstable and erupt. In this movie we show an IRIS observation of such an event, in which a filament becomes unstable and erupts, leading to the ejection of large amounts of cool plasma at high speed.