Stargazer Snaps Beautiful Blazing Solar Prominence (Photo)
Astrophotographer Göran Strand of Östersund, Sweden submitted this image of a solar prominence to SPACE.com on Sept. 4, 2013.
Credit: Göran Strand | www.astrofotografen.se

Solar flames blaze in this detailed photo taken by an avid astrophotographer of Östersund, Sweden.

"Incredibly beautiful to see how it hung freely over the solar disk," photographer Göran Strand wrote SPACE.com of his photo in an email. Strand submitted this magnificent close-up image of a solar prominence on Sept. 4.

"I took the opportunity to take a close-up shot of this prominence and I've added a scaled-size Earth so you can get an idea of how big these fire flames really are."

Anchored to the sun's lower atmosphere layer called the photosphere, solar prominences are massive gaseous features that extend outward into the outer portion of the sun's atmosphere, called the corona.

Warning: Never look directly at the sun through binoculars, telescopes or with your unaided eye. Severe eye damage, and even blindness, can result. Astronomers use special filters to safely observe the sun and protective glasses are required for solar eclipse viewing.

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by SPACE.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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