Spectacular details on the Sun’s surface

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) plays an important role in my novel “Silent Sun.” When I wrote the book, the solar telescope was still under construction. It’s still not completely finished, but it’s already taken its first snapshots of its only object of observation, our Sun. The images are absolutely stunning, showing the Sun’s surface at a level of detail never seen before.

Close-up of the image above, edge length 8,200 km x 8,200 km. (image: NSO/AURA/NSF, CC-BY 4.0)
In this image taken at a wavelength of 789 nm, structures as small as 30 km (18 miles) can be seen for the first time. The image shows a pattern of turbulent, «boiling» gas covering the entire Sun. The cell-like features are each about the size of Texas and indicate violent flows transporting heat from the inside of the Sun to its surface. Hot plasma rises in the bright centers of cells, cools off, and then sinks back into the interior in dark channels. In these dark channels, small, bright spots can also be seen, marking magnetic fields (“small” is relative here, because they are each about as large as New York City). From here, energy flows into the outer layers of the solar atmosphere, the corona, which is heated up to a million. The image boundaries represent about 36,500 km x 36,500 km. (image: NSO/AURA/NSF, CC-BY 4.0)
The scale of the Sun (background image: NSO Integrated Synoptic Program/GONG)

One Comment

  • Stunning!

Leave a Comment

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

  • BrandonQMorris
  • Brandon Q. Morris es físico y especialista en el espacio. Lleva mucho tiempo preocupado por las cuestiones espaciales, tanto a nivel profesional como privado, y aunque quería ser astronauta, tuvo que quedarse en la Tierra por diversas razones. Le fascina especialmente el "qué pasaría si" y a través de sus libros pretende compartir historias convincentes de ciencia ficción dura que podrían suceder realmente, y que algún día podrían suceder. Morris es autor de varias novelas de ciencia ficción de gran éxito de ventas, como la serie Enceladus.

    Brandon es un orgulloso miembro de la Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America y de la Mars Society.