Science2 - 00022

Science2 - 00022 - Untitled shoot out for many thousands of...

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Untitled shoot out for many thousands of miles, driven outward by some prodigious expulsive force. It is these red "prominences" which are such a notable feature in the picture of the eclipse of the sun already referred to. During the solar eclipse of 1919 one of these red flames rose in less than seven hours from a height of 130,000 miles to more than 500,000 miles above the sun's surface. This immense column of red-hot gas, four or five times the thickness of the earth, was soaring upward at the rate of 60,000 miles an hour. These flaming jets or prominences shooting out from the chromosphere are not to be seen every day by the naked eye; the dazzling light of the sun obscures them, gigantic as they are. They can be observed, however, by the spectroscope any day, and they are visible to us for a very short time during an eclipse of the sun. Some extraordinary outbursts have been witnessed. Thus the late Professor Young described one on September 7, 1871, when he had been examining a prominence by the spectroscope:
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