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The Lovely Loops
A close-up view of the Sun's edge shows vast loop structures made of superheated plasma, just one of which is the size of several Earths. These loops can have a wide range of temperatures, many reaching several million degrees Kelvin.
The upper one of a pair of new, solar active regions that just rotated into view offered a beautiful profile view of those cascading loops spiraling above it (Jan. 15-16, 2012) following a solar flare eruption. With its ability to capture the Sun in amazing detail, SDO observed it all in extreme ultraviolet light. This particular video clip used an image every minutes to present the motion.
Credit: NASA SDO