Solar prominences on February 13, 2023


Solar prominences are among the most spectacular manifestations of the sun’s activity. These are kinds of plasma tunnels which follow magnetized loops and develop in the space of a few hours to sometimes persist for several days.

There are two possible ways to see them. During a total solar eclipse, when the surface of the sun is completely obscured by the Moon, prominences can be seen around the edges, especially with binoculars or a small telescope. Caution! It is absolutely necessary to refrain from observing when the reappearance of the sun is imminent! They can also be observed with a telescope through a filter which only lets through the narrow wavelength known as hydrogen-alpha. These filters are hyper-specialized and very expensive.

The photo below was taken with a William Optics GT81 telescope fitted with a Daystar Quark Gemini filter, and with a ZWO ASI 174 camera.