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Polar Crown Prominence (PCP)

Context:

Recently, an Argentina-based astronomer captured a structure that looked like a wall of plasma on the surface of the sun.

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Polar crown prominences (PCP):      
  2. Solar Prominences
  3. Solar Filaments

Polar Crown Prominences (PCP)

  • PCP are plasma loops ejected from the sun’s surface by magnetic fields, similar to normal solar prominences.
  • They occur at latitudes between 60 and 70 degrees North and South, near the sun’s magnetic poles.
  • PCP collapse back towards the sun due to the stronger magnetic fields near the poles.
  • They are also called “plasma waterfalls” due to their collapsing behavior.

Solar Prominences:

  • Solar prominences are large, loop-like structures visible on the edge of the solar disk against the dark background of space.
  • They are anchored to the Sun’s surface in the photosphere and extend into the corona.
  • They are cooler and denser than the surrounding plasma in the Sun’s corona and are shaped by the Sun’s magnetic field.
  • Prominences can extend for thousands of kilometers and can last for several days or up to several months.
  • Some prominences erupt and give rise to coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

Solar Filaments:

  • Sometimes, prominences are observed against the bright background of the Sun instead of at the edge of the Sun’s disk.
  • These prominences appear dark compared to the bright background of the Sun and are called solar filaments

-Source: The Hindu


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