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Space & Astronomy

Telescope captures close-up image of sunspot

By T.K. Randall
December 7, 2020 · Comment icon 4 comments

This sunspot is larger than our entire planet. Image Credit: NSO / AURA / NSF
Measuring 10,000 miles across, this huge feature on the surface on the Sun could fit the whole Earth inside it.
The incredible image was captured by the US National Science Foundation's Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii - the world's largest solar observatory.

These intriguing solar phenomena, which appear as dark patches on the surface of the Sun, are essentially regions of reduced temperature caused by concentrations of magnetic field flux.

They can be large or small and last from a few days to several months.

The new image is the first of a sunspot released by the observatory and demonstrates just what its advanced optics and four-meter primary mirror are capable of.
Once fully operational, it was provide unparalleled views of our star.

"The sunspot image achieves a spatial resolution about 2.5 times higher than ever previously achieved, showing magnetic structures as small as 20 kilometers on the surface of the sun," said associate director Dr. Thomas Rimmele.

As solar activity increases over the next few years, we should see many more images like this one.

"With this solar cycle just beginning, we also enter the era of the Inouye Solar Telescope," said Dr. Matt Mountain of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).

"We can now point the world's most advanced solar telescope at the Sun to capture and share incredibly detailed images and add to our scientific insights about the Sun's activity."

Source: SciTech Daily | Comments (4)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by third_eye 4 years ago
Reminds me of a pal of mine when she used to say when she's got a "...pimple bigger than Singapore on a world map..." on her face ~
Comment icon #2 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
Beware, the eye of Sauron is watching over us
Comment icon #3 Posted by jethrofloyd 4 years ago
Comment icon #4 Posted by CigaretteSmokingMan 4 years ago
I thought of Uranus when I saw this

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