Paul Wood's Solar Filament Homepage

I was a visiting student at Montana State University for 8 weeks this summer, working under the supervision of Prof. Piet Martens, looking at a couple of particularly impressive filaments on the sun. My aim has been to create a web-site which shows the work I have been doing in tracking the formations of a few filaments as they grow and, eventually, erupt. The web-site includes images in a number of wavelengths, and includes particular reference to the effect of the magnetic field on filament formation. I have included an introduction to filaments, a movie of a spectacular eruption, and a few images of other interesting-looking filaments. If you don't know much about filaments (like me!) please have a read of the introduction - you will find it useful! If you find any mistakes, or larger errors, please email me (my address is at the bottom) as I'd like to know!


  Here's an idea of the sort of thing I'm looking at. It was taken in August 1997, and just shows a part of the solar disk. The filament is the dark object (obviously!).

The image shown is formed from hydrogen-alpha emmissions, rather than being a "naked eye" picture. For a brief explanation of the way the various images are formed, and where they come from, click here. I use a lot of different image types in this web-site, so if you want to know what on earth (or the sun) they are showing then just refer back to here.

To look at the August 1997 filament summary click on the image to the right. I've produced a few pictures and movies, with descriptions, showing the formation of this impressive filament.
To look at the September 1997 filament summary click on the picture. This is a very different shape to the August one. The picture on the right shows it to be more of an inverted s-shape and also, significantly, more intense.
To look at the June 1999 filament summary click on the picture. A filament this close to one of the poles is called a 'Polar Crown Filament'. You can see that it's much larger than the other two.

To see some pictures of other filaments, click on the small image below. These are not ones I've analysed in any detail, they're just a small collection of other interesting looking filaments I've come across. The dates are on the pictures, and you can see that they come from a wide range of times.

Here's a neat movie of a prominence eruption, see on the west limb of the sun on July 19th 2000. Click here to see it. It's a .mov file, so I'm sorry if your browser won't let you watch it. The download may take a while but it's worth it. You won't see many more spectacular sights.

This is my first effort at creating a web page, so it may not be the most slick, well-produced thing you'll ever see. I hope you can forgive that though. I've tried to fit in as many images as possible so that you can get an idea of what filaments are all about if you're new to them, or possibly compare some aspect of your proposed model for the way filaments form with the pictures. I'll hopefully be up-dating this web-site fairly regularly and adding in things that I think may be interesting or of use.

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Page last edited on 6th November 2000.
If you have any comments of suggestions, or are just a bit bored, feel free to send email to me.
There are loads of links to related solar sites on the MSU solar physics homepage. There seems no point in me repeating them, so if you want to see the links, click on the link to the group's homepage below.
Back to the MSU Solar Physics Homepage
To go to my totally un-solar collection of pictures and funny stuff
To go to a great sports web-site
To go to a web-site telling you what's special about today


Paul Wood. Montana State University, Bozeman, 2000
After September 2000: