Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

Astro-Porn of the Day: The Eye Is Ever Watchful

The New Solar Telescope captures the Eye of Sauron!

Well, actually, this is a first light adaptive optics image from the NST at the Big Bear Solar Observatory in California. "With a 1.6-meter primary mirror, the NST is the largest solar telescope in the world," says observatory staff Nicolas Gorceix. "It has realtime correction for atmospheric distortion [aka "adaptive optics"], so we can see things in very high resolution - as small as 65 km wide on the Sun. For perspective, Earth is slightly smaller than the whole sunspot including the dark umbra and the daisy petal-like penumbra. The spot is surrounded by the Sun's ubiquitous granular field," which shows the boiling surface of the Sun.

Check it out:

Click the image to see the story.

Welcome back, sunspots!

Tags: astronomy

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