Miracle! Telescope captures FIRST-EVER special image of mysterious Sun part

The difficulty of capturing the Sun's lower atmosphere, the chromosphere, is massive. However, it has now been done by the world’s largest solar telescope. Have a look here.

| Updated on: Sep 08 2022, 23:19 IST
Think you know our Sun? Check out THESE 5 stunning facts
Sun surface
1/5 The Sun is the largest object in our solar system and is a 4.5 billion-year-old star – a hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of the solar system. It is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from Earth, and without its energy, life as we know it could not exist here on our home planet. (Pixabay)
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2/5 The Sun’s volume would need 1.3 million Earths to fill it. Its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything from the biggest planets to the smallest bits of debris in orbit around it. The hottest part of the Sun is its core, where temperatures top 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius). The Sun’s activity, from its powerful eruptions to the steady stream of charged particles it sends out, influences the nature of space throughout the solar system. (NASA)
Sun surface
3/5 According to NASA, measuring a “day” on the Sun is complicated because of the way it rotates. It doesn't spin as a single, solid ball. This is because the Sun’s surface isn't solid like Earth's. Instead, the Sun is made of super-hot, electrically charged gas called plasma. This plasma rotates at different speeds on different parts of the Sun. At its equator, the Sun completes one rotation in 25 Earth days. At its poles, the Sun rotates once on its axis every 36 Earth days. (NASA)
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4/5 Above the Sun’s surface are its thin chromosphere and the huge corona (crown). This is where we see features such as solar prominences, flares, and coronal mass ejections. The latter two are giant explosions of energy and particles that can reach Earth. (Pixabay)
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5/5 The Sun doesn’t have moons, but eight planets orbit it, at least five dwarf planets, tens of thousands of asteroids, and perhaps three trillion comets and icy bodies. Also, several spacecraft are currently investigating the Sun including Parker Solar Probe, STEREO, Solar Orbiter, SOHO, Solar Dynamics Observatory, Hinode, IRIS, and Wind. (Pixabay)
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Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope captured the first ever image of the sun's lower atmosphere, the chromosphere. (NSO/AURA/NSF)

We have seen several images and short clips shared by NASA revealing great details of the Sun. But this time, the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) in Hawai'i has captured the first-ever detailed image of the sun's chromosphere, which is a layer of the Sun's atmosphere just above its surface. The image taken by the telescope on June 3, 2022, shows a region 82,500 kilometres across at a resolution of 18 km.

What is chromosphere? Similar to the outermost region of the sun's atmosphere named corona, the chromosphere is generally clouded by the star's photosphere, which is roughly equivalent to the star's surface. In images captured by the telescope during a total solar eclipse, when light from the photosphere is obstructed by the moon, the region is typically only detectable as a bright red ring around the main body of the Sun. Thanks to the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, this has now changed.

One of the main highlights of the study is the space weather, bright solar flares and coronal mass ejections from the surface of the sun that shoots material into space. “NSF's Inouye Solar Telescope is the world's most powerful solar telescope that will forever change the way we explore and understand our sun. Its insights will transform how our nation, and the planet, predict and prepare for events like solar storms,” said NSF Director, Sethuraman Panchanathan.

Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST)

On the Hawaiian island of Maui, DKIST is situated near the Haleakala Observatories site, a significant location. This position gives the telescope the lengthy daylight hours needed for a solar telescope, as well as the clean sky with no interference from Earth's atmosphere, needed to observe the sun's corona and chromosphere, at a height of 10,000 feet (3,000 metres) and surrounded by ocean.

The biggest mirror of any solar device is used by DKIST. The telescope collects more sunlight than any previous solar telescope thanks to the 13 foot (4 m) broad mirror. The end result is the most crystal-clear and high-resolution pictures of our star ever taken.


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First Published Date: 08 Sep, 23:19 IST