Contact: Susan Hendrix
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Caption: The image on the left shows a series of magnetic loops on the sun, as captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on July 18, 2012. The image on the right has been processed to highlight the edges of each loop and make the structure more clear. A series of loops such as this is known as a flux rope, and these lie at the heart of eruptions on the sun known as coronal mass ejections. This is the first time scientists were able to discern the timing of a flux rope's formation.
Credit: Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard Space Flight Center
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