Looking at the sun through a telescope can cause serious damage to your health and vision, so how exactly are we meant to get pictures of the Sun’s surface if we can’t even look at it? Well, that’s where specially-made telescopes like the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope come into play. This massive solar telescope is the most powerful in the world, and it just released new images of the Sun’s surface.
The images, which showcase the Sun’s chromosphere, a layer of the Sun’s atmosphere directly above the surface, are unlike anything that we have captured before. The Inouye Solar Telescope, one of the few capable of capturing pictures of the Sun’s surface in such detail, is funded by the United States National Science Foundation and is run by the National Solar Observatory.
This observatory, along with NASA’s Parker Solar Probe and others, has been designed specifically to study the Sun to help scientists better understand solar events like solar flares and more. And now, with these new pictures of the Sun’s surface, we could get even more insight into the star that our planet revolves around.
The telescope captured several new pictures of the Sun’s surface back in August, with the fiery chromosphere the main focus of them all. Each image is also representative of almost 32,000 square miles, though it might not look that big when you’re looking at it here. You can, of course, see the images above.
When comparing these newest pictures of the Sun’s surface with others that astrophotographers have captured, it’s easy to see just how powerful the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is, and why the NSF and NSO are working so diligently to inspect and observe the Sun. Further, any insights that these images unlock for astronomers are even more data and knowledge for them to dig into.
This knowledge and these pictures of the Sun’s surface could then help us better understand and prepare for massive solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and other solar events.