Chromospheric activity at the solar limb
Hinode Broadband Filter Imager
This movie shows various phenomena taking place at the solar limb (the edge of the Sun) as recorded by Broadband Filter Imager (BFI) on Hinode in the Ca II H spectral line that samples the chromosphere. The observations were taken on February 9, 2007, shortly after the Hinode launch.
The horizontal threads are prominences, cool and dense material at chromospheric temperatures that is embedded in the million degree corona. Prominences evolve slowly with time. The vertical straws right at the limb are spicules, short jets that inject chromospheric plasma into the corona above. They have much shorter lifetimes, on the order of 5 minutes. Small eruptions launch chromospheric gas into the corona, following the magnetic field lines. When this material falls back to the solar surface we observe "coronal rain", which at times is very conspicuous in this move.
Finally, near the middle of the observaciones one can see a larger jet showing a characteristic inverted Y-shape. Those jets are caused by magnetic reconnection of opposite polarity magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere. Reconnection releases large amounts of energy into the solar chromosphere, heating and accelerating the plasma, and giving rise to the inverted Eiffel tower shape. These events are relatively common and have short lifetimes.
To download the movie, click HERE
Movie credit: Kiyoshi Ichimoto (Kyoto University, NAOJ)
Text credit: Luis Bellot Rubio (IAA-CSIC)
Observations: Hinode (ISAS/JAXA, NAOJ, NASA, STFC, ESA)