Semi-Tech Friday: Solar Telescope view of our the Sun

Posted By on January 31, 2020

dkist_solar_granulation
A wide-angle view of the solar surface from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is the
highest-resolution image of the Sun ever taken, showing details as small as 30 km wide.
Seen here are granules, the tops of giant convection cells. Credit:
NSO/NSF/AURA

Whether it is gazing at the millions of stars night sky (the suns of other solar systems) or our own sun (don’t look at it!), the size and grandeur amazes even the less curious among us. The above image is the “deep red light” (a wavelength of 0.789 microns) that details the surface and structures 30 kilometers across. Considering the sun’s size and energy, it certainly seems possible that even capturing just a small amount of the energy being hurdled at earth that there should be enough to easily supply human’s minuscule (by comparison) energy needs. Tinkering with Encore’s solar panels, batteries and charging systems last week had me rethinking what the future holds as alternatives to fossil fuels continue to advance. 

What you’re seeing are the tops of huge towers of convection inside the Sun (called granules). The Sun generates heat deep in its core, and that heat works its way out to the surface.

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Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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