<p><strong>Resembling a dragon's tail, remnants of a solar filament strain to escape the <a href="http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/sun-article.html">sun</a>'s gravity in an image released this week by NASA's <a href="http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/">Solar Dynamics Observatory</a>.</strong></p><p>Most of the electrically charged gas, imaged in extreme ultraviolet light, was unsuccessful in its escape attempt and fell back into the sun.</p><p>Filaments form when magnetic field lines push out of the sun in loops, holding dense gas above the surface of the sun. (<a href="http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/09/10/a-huge-solar-filament-erupts-into-space/#.URQHWFpFcrg">Read about a huge solar filament that erupted in August 2012.</a>)</p><p><em>—Jane J. Lee and Christine Dell'Amore</em></p>

Solar Dragon

Resembling a dragon's tail, remnants of a solar filament strain to escape the sun's gravity in an image released this week by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Most of the electrically charged gas, imaged in extreme ultraviolet light, was unsuccessful in its escape attempt and fell back into the sun.

Filaments form when magnetic field lines push out of the sun in loops, holding dense gas above the surface of the sun. (Read about a huge solar filament that erupted in August 2012.)

—Jane J. Lee and Christine Dell'Amore

Image courtesy SDO/NASA

Space Pictures This Week: Sun Dragon, Celestial Seagull

A sun "dragon" roars, London glitters from space, and a cosmic seagull spreads its "wings" in this week's best space photos.

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