"High Resolution Photo of the Sun (NSF) as of January 20, 2020" by NSO/AURA/NSF / CC BY 4.0

Telescope captures most detailed pictures yet of the sun

Jan 30, 2020

By Hannah Devlin

The sun’s turbulent surface has been revealed in unprecedented detail in the first observations by the Inouye solar telescope in Hawaii.

The striking images reveal a surprising level of structure hidden within the churning plasma exterior, bringing a previously hazy impression of the sun’s patchwork surface sharply into focus for the first time.

“These are the highest resolution images of the solar surface ever taken,” said Thomas Rimmele, the director of the Inouye solar telescope project. “What we previously thought looked like a bright point – one structure – is now breaking down into many smaller structures.”

The telescope’s 30km resolution is more than twice that of the next best solar observatories.

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