Look at these images (captured using Luxel filters) of beautiful coronal loops coming out of the Active Region AR2192. We can see them as solar plasma is attached to the magnetic field lines extending outward of the region and looping back into the Sun.
AR 2192 was actually one of the biggest observed sunspots of all time, ranking 33rd largest of 32,908 active regions since 1874, according to NASA scientists C. Alex Young and Dean Pesnell.
The sunspot is particularly special because of the somewhat strange way scientists have seen it behave. Instead of shooting out huge bursts of plasma — called coronal mass ejections (CMEs) — with powerful flares, the giant sunspot hasn’t produced significant CMEs during its time rotating in view of Earth, according to Young.
Earth-directed CMEs are responsible for geomagnetic storms that can harm satellites in orbit or even knock out power grids on the planet. A CME produced by a sunspot larger than AR 2192 knocked out the power in Quebec, Canada, in 1989, Young said.
Coronal loops are found around sunspots and in active regions. These structures are associated with the closed magnetic field lines that connect magnetic regions on the solar surface. Many coronal loops last for days or weeks, but most change quite rapidly. This image was taken in extreme ultraviolet light using Luxel filters.
Credit: NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory