An astrophotographer has snapped a stunning shot of an enormous wall of plasma falling down toward the solar surface at impossibly fast speeds after being spat out near the sun's south pole.
The dazzling phenomenon is known as a polar crown prominence (PCP), according to Spaceweather.com. PCPs are similar to normal solar prominences, which are loops of plasma, or ionized gas, that are ejected from the solar surface by magnetic fields.
Solar physicists often study solar prominences because they can be accompanied by coronal mass ejections, or massive magnetized plasma plumes that can fully break away from the sun and slam into Earth. But PCPs are also of interest to nuclear physicists because the sun's magnetic field seems to be particularly adept at containing the plasma loops in the polar regions, which could provide insights that help researchers improve experimental nuclear fusion reactors.
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