This is a picture of magnetic loops on the sun. It derived from data recorded by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The image has been processed to highlight the edges of each loop so that their structure is more clear.
A series of loops such as this is called a flux rope. Flux ropes lie at the heart of eruptions on the sun known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs.) This image is a record of the first time astronomers were able to follow the timing of a flux rope’s formation. It was produced with data from 13.1 nm and 17.1 nm images of 19 July, 2012 flare and CME.
Image Credit: NASA