Researchers working at the world’s largest solar laboratory have shared an experimental image showing the sun’s surface in unprecedented detail, and many more are yet to come as our star enters record-breaking time.
The newly released image was taken by Daniel K. in Hawaii. Inoue picked up the solar telescope (TKST), which is still under construction. Taken on January 28, 2020, it is the most comprehensive captured by mankind.
“The sunspot image achieves a spatial resolution of 2.5 times higher than previously achieved, showing magnetic structures as small as 20 km (12 miles) above the Sun’s surface.” Said Thomas Rimmel, an astronomer at the National Solar Laboratory of the National Science Foundation.
Each of the ‘scales’ around the sunspot is actually a convection cell – about 1,500 km (932 mi) away, exploding from the hot plasma center and then cooling as it flows outwards, creating a peripheral effect on the sunspot.
NASA captures the incredible view of the return of the giant sunspot (video)
The solar point, meanwhile, receives extraordinary strength from the sun’s magnetic field, which disrupts normal thermodynamic cell function and prevents plasma bursts from exploding, maintaining a cooler temperature and thus a darker appearance.
The interference of these alternating magnetic field lines can generate solar flares and coronal mass emissions, disrupting life on Earth, giving off a wide range of energy and radiation.
These events include satellite activity, navigation systems and in rare cases offline power taps. It is therefore incredibly important to monitor this type of solar activity, and the enormous detail of images captured by DKST during its testing phase already shows the greatest promise.
The image captures an area of 16,000 km (10,000 mi), which means it can fit inside the entire Earth (12,756 km in diameter or 7926 miles in diameter).
The solar system is currently entering a period of high solar activity, occurring more than every 11 years, marked by significant improvements in solar flares and solar points.
This powerful new solar laboratory will allow us to observe one of these cycles as never before in the history of our civilization.
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