The Daniel Inouye Solar Telescope has just taken some of the most amazing photographs ever taken of the surface of the sun, opening a new era of solar science and representing a leap forward in the understanding of the sun and its impacts on our planet.
This new telescope of the NSF (National Science Foundation) of the United States, has just shown the first images of the surface of the sun, which today are the most detailed images we have achieved to date.
The new image of the Sun shows a turbulent “boiling” plasma pattern covering the entire Sun. This is something never before seen or even imagined by astronomers around the world who are celebrating with joy this new advance in the observation of the closest star to our planet.
The Daniel Inouye Solar Telescope is named in honor of the American politician Daniel Ken Inouye, recognized for having been President pro tempore of the United States Senate, and for having fought in the Vietnam War, having received for this reason the Medal of Honor in 2000, as well as the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart among other decorations.
The Inouye Solar Telescope will be able to measure and characterize the Sun’s magnetic field with a precision and detail never seen before, and will be able to determine the causes of potentially harmful solar activity for our planet. Built by the NSF National Solar Observatory and administered by AURA, it contains a 4-meter diameter mirror, which is considered the largest mirror in the world built so far for a solar telescope.
Inouye will thus collect much more information about our sun during the first 5 years of its life, than all the solar data collected since Galileo Galilei first pointed a telescope at the sun in the year 1612.
In the image taken by the telescope, can be seen various structures in the form of cells, each one larger than the state of Texas, which show the violent movements that transport heat from the interior of the sun to its surface.
As explained by France Cordova, NSF director:
Now we can share these images and videos, which are the most detailed information on the sun we have to date. The Solar Telescope will be able to map the magnetic fields inside the sun’s corona, where solar flares occur that can eventually affect life on Earth. The telescope will improve our understanding of what drives space weather and ultimately help forecasters better predict solar storms.
This image is just the beginning of the Inouye Telescope’s work. Over the next six months, the team of scientists, engineers and technicians in charge of the telescope will continue to testing this technological marvel to make it ready for use by the entire international scientific community.