Archive for December 6th, 2010

Magnetic Filament Erupts on the Sun

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

A magnetic filament more than 50 times wider than the Earth has been errupting on the Sun since Saturday, December 4th.

Magnetic filaments are threads of hot, charged plasma formed in magnetic loops on the sun that, when seen in profile, look like giant, glowing loops of fire called “prominences” extending out from the sun.

When NASA first saw this magnetic filament, it was more than 250,000 miles long. By early this morning, the loop of plasma stretched more than 435,000 miles long – the full radius of the Sun (and the largest recorded one I can find mention of).

There’s a chance that this long filament will break apart as coronal mass ejections, releasing plasma, magnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation into space. It’s an incredible sight to see.

Want to see the prominence for yourself? If you have a telescope with ultraviolet filters, you can. If anyone takes photos of the magnetic filament, we’d love to see them!

You can continue to track the prominence’s development through NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.


From the Archive: Yearbooks!

by Lesley Drayton, Curator, Local History Archive

Did you know that the Fort Collins Local History Archive has a large collection of historic yearbooks from local schools? Yearbooks are a great way to get a glimpse of the fashions and activities from Fort Collins’ past; they’re so full of valuable social history, and they make up one of the most popular collections here at the Archive.

The oldest yearbook in the Archive’s collection is an 1895 Silver Spruce from Colorado Agricultural College (present-day Colorado State University). My favorites tend to be the high school yearbooks from the 1940s and 50s due to my special interest in that era of history.

I especially love this Ski Club page from the 1948 Lambkin yearbook from Fort Collins High School.

A poetic description of the Ski Club from the yearbook:

“To these skiers of our school a familiar word is ‘Track!’

And heeding this term they avoid colliding with a smack!

Trips to near-by ski areas are often made;

And members find, while pushing cars, in snow they have to wade.

Here come the skiers, flying down the hill!

Some of them are experts, for they never take a spill.”

What I like best are the ski sweaters the members wore for picture day!

Time to share: Who out there belonged to high school clubs that had you wearing some interesting outfits? One of our curators, Katie Bowell, has a photo of her representing an academic club while wearing a giant foam rubber shark costume. Luckily, that yearbook isn’t in the Archives…

December 2010
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