Our sun in high resolution

Here’s an invitation to pause from theological debates for a moment and take a look at this image of the sun taken by the Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii:

More than seven miles of underground piping are needed just to get rid of the solar heat the telescope collects, and to keep the instrument cool.

Pretty amazing!


I saw it earlier today on my Facebook feed and didn’t read the title at first and thought “why is everyone giving hoopla over popcorns kernels?” :rofl:

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Ha! I thought something similar… it just looked like a bunch of caramel corn smooshed together.

I was frustrated for the lack of any visual scale to help us know the magnitude of size visible within that zoom. After some looking about on the web … apparently each one of those “popcorn kernels” is about the size of Texas!

[also frustrating that the temporal scale was so accelerated too, but at least they left a clock visible in the corner of this video so you can see the minutes rushing by. Yeah I know the motion would be nearly indiscernible viewed in real time, but on the other hand it would be … real (which would be even more awesome to contemplate knowing the size scale).]


Helio Viewer is also a really cool site. It doesn’t have the same resolution, but you can pick from different filters and different instruments to overlay different solar features, and even make a movie you can share with others. It’s a really cool way to see the interaction between sunspots, magnetism, and solar prominences.


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