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  • Images Reveal Structure detail on Surface of the Sun
    The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope has produced the highest resolution image of the Sun's surface ever taken. In this picture taken at 789nm, we can see features as small as 30km (18 miles) in size for the first time ever. Credit: NSO/AURA/NSF

Images Reveal Structure detail on Surface of the Sun

Feb 17 2020 Read 355 Times

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope has revealed unprecedented detail of the Sun’s surface including a pattern of turbulent “boiling” plasma that covers the entire Sun. Images taken with cameras developed by a UK consortium and funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) also show cell-like structures - each about the size of Texas which are the signature of violent motions that transport heat from inside the Sun to its surface.

Professor Mihalis Mathioudakis of Queen’s University Belfast, who led the UK consortium, said: “The imaging produced by the Inouye Solar Telescope opens new horizons in solar physics. Its imaging capability allows us to study the physical processes at work in the Sun’s atmosphere at unprecedented levels of detail. We worked hard over the past few years with Belfast-based Andor Technology to develop the cameras that equip the Inouye Solar Telescope and it is highly rewarding to now see this fascinating imaging.”

The UK consortium includes Andor Technology, Armagh Observatory, University of Glasgow, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Northumbria University, University of Sheffield, St. Andrews University and University of Warwick. NSF’s Inouye Solar Telescope 4-metre solar telescope.

NSF’s new 4-meter ground-based Inouye Solar Telescope which sits near the summit of Haleakalā in Hawaii, will work with space-based solar observation tools such as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (currently in orbit around the Sun) and the European Space Agency/NASA Solar Orbiter which launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb9 at 11:03pm EST (04:03 GMT on Feb10). The solar observation initiatives will expand the frontiers of solar research and improve scientists’ ability to predict space weather.

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