A telescope that was made specifically to look and observe our Sun has captured the most detailed images of the surface.
The detailed images can pave the way for future disruptive solar flares before they could make an impact.
The first images from the DKIST (Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope) in Hawaii captured the pictures.
In the pictures, you can see cell-like structures that cover the surface of the sun, each taking up space roughly the size of Texas, a state in the USA.
The DKIST is twice the size of the largest solar scope.
Thanks to the images and the telescope, scientists can predict changes in the surface of the sun, which includes solar flares.
Solar flares are capable of knocking out power grids on our planet and can damage the satellites that are up in space.
France Córdova, the director of the National Science Foundation, released a statement about the incident.
France said, “Since NSF began work on this ground-based telescope, we have eagerly awaited the first images.”
— National Science Foundation (@NSF) January 29, 2020
France added, “We can now share these images and videos, which are the most detailed of our Sun to date. NSF’s Inouye Solar Telescope will be able to map the magnetic fields within the Sun’s corona, where solar eruptions occur that can impact life on Earth.”
France continued, “This telescope will improve our understanding of what drives space weather and ultimately help forecasters better predict solar storms.”
The DKIST is working constantly to understand how the corona of the sun works, the atmosphere around the outside of the star, and why the sun is hotter than the surface.
Thomas Rimmele, the director of the DKIST, said, “It’s all about the magnetic field.”
Thomas added, “To unravel the Sun’s biggest mysteries, we have to not only be able to clearly see these tiny structures from 93 million miles away but very precisely measure their magnetic field strength and direction near the surface and trace the field as it extends out into the million-degree corona, the outer atmosphere of the Sun.”
The telescope will now be readied to focus on the stellar object when the sunspots of the latest solar cycle, which is built towards their maximum with support from the Parker Solar Probe of NASA.
The probe will dip into the atmosphere of the sun.
To create the molten-looking video, the telescope observed the Sun for a total of 10 minutes.
The popping cells in the video are plasma rising up out of the Sun, cooling off, and then retreating back downward.
The video is so high-resolution that the image shows details and figures just 18 miles across.
It is a good time to be studying the Sun right now, with a number of instruments on the ground and in space that are made especially to figure out more about the star that keeps us alive.