Solar Telescope Dazzles with First Light Images #SpaceSaturday

via Astronomy Now

First light images from the 4-metre Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope atop Mount Haleakala in Hawai’i, the most powerful in the world, provide a mesmerising glimpse of our star’s churning surface, capturing details as small as 30 kilometres (18 miles) across in boiling cell-like structures about the size of Texas.

In a process known as convection, hot plasma boils to the surface in the bright centres of the cells, cools and then sinks back down in dark lanes. In those lanes, astronomers can discern small, bright markers of magnetic fields thought to channel energy up into the Sun’s super-heated corona.

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