April 8 solar eclipse may reveal spectacular solar phenomena – Times of India

The upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8 promises not just a momentary plunge into darkness for those in the path of totality but also a rare opportunity to witness the sun’s grandeur, including potential enormous explosions. This celestial event, taking viewers through seconds to minutes of totality, is the only occasion when gazing directly at the sun without protective eyewear is safe.
Witnessing the Sun’s fury
According to a report in Live Science, during this eclipse, spectators may be treated to the sight of dark-pink prominences—towering loops of plasma extending far into space, beyond many times the Earth’s diameter.”These prominences will almost certainly be on show during totality in North America on April 8, because the sun is likely at the peak of its 11-year solar cycle,” said Alyssa Pagan, a science visuals developer at the Space Telescope Science Institute.
A celestial showcase
Observers might also spot coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar flares—explosive manifestations of the sun’s magnetic energy. “If we get lucky, a CME will present itself as a twisted, spiral-like structure, high in the atmosphere in the sun,” noted solar physicist Ryan French. While solar flares, often following CMEs, unleash vast amounts of energy, their sighting during totality is considered less likely.
The promise of prominences
The eclipse offers a unique viewing platform for “giant eruptive” prominences, particularly spectacular if detached and floating within the corona. “There have been a few examples of such prominence eruptions over the past few months, each of which would have given a great show if occurring during a total solar eclipse,” French explained.
Extending eclipse observations
To capture these transient solar events, efforts like the Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE 2024) project aim to create a prolonged observation period. By coordinating a continent-wide observation effort, scientists hope to capture the beginning or end of these solar phenomena, extending the window of totality beyond its brief natural duration.
As anticipation builds for the April 8 solar eclipse, both casual observers and scientific communities are poised to witness potentially one of the most dynamic displays of solar activity coinciding with this rare astronomical event.

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