These images of the Sun reveal unprecedented detail of its surface

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Built on the side of volcanoon the island of Mauiarchipelago of Hawaii, the telescope solar Daniel-K.-Inouye, — that of the National Science Foundation (United States) which was called before theAdvanced Technology Solar Telescope — is deemed to be the most powerful telescope in the world intended to observe our Sun. And a few days ago, on the occasion of its official inauguration — it has already been collecting scientific data for several months — the teams in charge of its operation published two new breathtaking images of our Star

Their quality is all the more incredible since we are not talking about a probe sent to “burn its wings” near the Sun. But a telescope on the ground. With a 4 meter mirror, perched some 3,000 meters above sea level and protected from the light pollution and turbulence atmospheric by an oceanic environment.

The solar chromosphere in all its states

On the two images published during the inauguration of the Daniel-K.-Inouye solar telescope, we discover the chromosphere of our star. Understand the bass atmosphere of the sun. This layer of gas located just above its visible surface.

One of the pictures shows what the astronomers call her solar granulation. The phenomenon was first identified in the early 19th century.e century, by William Herschel. Convective cells, as researchers have known since the 1930s, each about 500 to 1,000 kilometers large. And whose lifespan is rather short. About ten minutes only.

The other image, just as bewitching, shows sorts of streaks which are in reality nothing more than jets of a plasma at very high temperature.

The surface of the Sun as you’ve never seen it before!

The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Terrestrial Telescope has just acquired its first images of the Sun. They are quite simply the finest and finest of the surface of the Sun ever obtained. This unprecedented ability to observe the Sun promises a spectacular leap in the knowledge of the phenomena at the origin of its activity which influences the meteorology spatial.

Article of Remy Decourt published on 01/30/2020

While theEuropean Space Agency and the Nasa are about to launch the probe Solar Orbiter in a few days and that the American Parker Solar Probe approached only 19 million kilometers from the Sun, it is a solar terrestrial telescope which makes the news. Indeed, the Daniel K. Inouye solar telescope (DKIST for Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope), slated for commissioning this summer, has acquired its first and most accurate images of the Sun’s surface ever recorded. The smallest details that can be discerned there are barely 30 kilometers in size! What, on the scale of the Sun, a star that is almost 1.4 million kilometers in diameter, is microscopic.

Convection cells in perpetual motion

What we see are the convection cells that make up the surface of the Sun. They measure more or less 1,000 kilometers in diameter and are constantly changing. They deform, appear and disappear according to the movements which occur below the surface of the Sun and which lead the hottest gas to rise from the interior of the star to the surface.

The DKIST terrestrial solar telescope reveals unprecedented details of our Sun. © NSO, YouTube

Built on the Haleakala mountain on the island of Maui in Hawaii, DKIST is the largest solar telescope in the world capable of acquiring ultra-detailed images of the surface of the Sun, and this with a resolution twice as high as other solar observatories in service. Until today, solar telescopes had mirrors with a diameter of up to 1.50 meters. This off-axis telescope is equipped with an active primary mirror 4.2 meters in diameter, with thermal control and adaptive optics. DKIST is also the most complex and technical solar telescope currently in service.

This telescope was designed to better understand the role of the Sun, mainly its magnetic fieldin space weather.

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