Stunning new photo showing the face of the sun like we’ve never seen it before


A new image from the world’s most powerful solar telescope has captured the face of our sun in great detail.

Close to the giant star, with a resolution of only 18 kilometers, the middle layer of the sun’s atmosphere, known as the chromosphere, looks almost like a jagged carpet, RT reported.

The fiery plasma can be seen in the image, flowing into the corona from a kind of honeycomb pattern, easily visible. These granular bubbles are known as granules, and each is about 1,600 kilometers (994 miles) wide.

To put the sheer magnitude of these images in context, astronomers put our planet above the top of the scale.

This stunning feat marks the first anniversary of the Inouye Solar Telescope – the most powerful instrument of its kind – and the culmination of 25 years of careful planning.

Close to the giant star, with a resolution of only 18 kilometers, the middle layer of the Sun’s atmosphere, known as the chromosphere, looks almost like a jagged carpet.

The fiery plasma can be seen in the image, flowing into the corona from a kind of honeycomb pattern, easily visible. These granular bubbles are known as granules, and each is about 1,600 kilometers (994 miles) wide.

The sun’s chromosphere, below the corona, is usually invisible and can only be seen during a total solar eclipse, when it creates a red edge around the star’s dimming. But new technology has changed that.

And we’ve never looked so closely at the source of our solar system’s light. The Inouye telescope is able to see features within the Sun’s small chromosphere.

And last year, when the nearly-complete telescope released its first images, heliophysicist Jeff Kuhn called it “the greatest leap in humanity’s ability to study the Sun” since Galileo’s time.

And now, says astronomer and space telescope scientist Matt Mountain, president of the Universities Association for Research in Astronomy (AURA), we are cutting the tape on a “new era of heliophysics”.

The insights gained from this new perspective will help scientists predict and prepare for solar storms, which could send tsunamis of hot and magnetic plasma all the way from the sun’s corona to Earth, potentially causing global blackouts and internet outages for months.

The Inouye Solar Telescope is clearly a tremendous scientific achievement for modern astronomers, but it comes with a cultural cost to an ancient community of stargazers.

Long before Galileo, indigenous peoples around the world were using the sun, moon, and stars to better understand our place in the universe.

The Inouye Solar Telescope gives us a glimpse into the center of our solar system like never before, but as our focus narrows, we mustn’t lose sight of the stargazers who came before.

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