This series presents views of the Sun from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The SDO spacecraft was launched February 11, 2010, and began collecting data a few months later.
Coronal loops are bright curving structures arcing above the surface of the Sun. Driven by the looping lines of the Sun’s twisted and powerful magnetic fields, these arcs of plasma are usually, but not always, rooted in sunspots. The largest coronal loops loom thousands of kilometers above the photosphere poking into the Sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere.