Solar prominences are huge, looping structures of plasma that can be seen erupting from the surface of the Sun, often appearing as bright loops against the darkness of space.
The Sun is a scorching yellow dwarf star with a global magnetic field that’s sustained by internal flows of electrically charged gas.
Sometimes, huge loops of plasma can extend outwards from the surface of the Sun, flowing along magnetic field lines and pushing out from the photosphere into the corona, the Sun’s hot atmosphere. These are solar prominences.
In just an hour, active prominences can shoot to heights of 750,000km and can stretch to diameters much larger than Earth.
Coronal mass ejections are giant eruptions of plasma that eject solar material out into space, and can occur during a solar prominence.
Solar prominences make for great features to observe and to photograph, but this must always be done with extreme caution.
Observing the Sun without proper, certified solar safety equipment can severely damage your eyesight and your equipment.
Below is a selection of solar prominences captured by BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers and solar astrophotographers.
Many of our prominence images were captured by Gary Palmer, who's work can be seen at Gary Palmer Astronomy.