Images with an “unprecedented” resolution of the Sun sent the Solar Orbiter probe, which is jointly operated by the space agencies of Europe (ESA) and the United States (NASA).
Captured 46.6 million miles (75 million km) from the star, one of the records is the “highest resolution” ever taken of the disk and outer atmosphere. The Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) capture was made at a point equidistant from Earth.
The second was the work of the Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment (SPICE) instrument and represents the first in 50 years and the best complete image of the Sun. In addition, it was taken in the Lyman-beta wavelength of ultraviolet light, which is emitted by hydrogen .
“The EUI telescope takes images of such high spatial resolution that, at such a close distance, a mosaic of 25 individual images is needed to cover the entire Sun,” he explained. the ESA. For this reason, the complete registration took more than four hours, since each mosaic took about 10 minutes.
The final image, detailed by the European agency, contains more than 83 million pixels in a grid of 9148 x 9112 pixels. That is, it has a resolution 10 times better than what a 4K TV screen can display.
The EUI takes images of the Sun at a wavelength of 17 nanometers, in the extreme ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Thanks to this, the organism added, the upper atmosphere and the corona are revealed, which have temperatures close to 1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit (or one million Celsius).
The SPICE instrument, for its part, was designed to trace the layers of the sun’s atmosphere from the corona to a layer known as the chromosphere, zooming in on the surface. It works by looking at the different wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light.
In the latest sequence of images returned by Solar Orbiter, purple corresponds to gaseous hydrogen at a temperature of 18,000 F (10,000 C), blue to carbon at 57,000 F (32,000 C), green to oxygen at 576,000 F ( 320,000 C) and neon yellow at 1.1 million F (630,000 C).
“This will allow solar physicists to trace the extraordinarily powerful flares taking place in the corona through the lower atmospheric layers. It will also allow them to study one of the most puzzling observations about the Sun: how the temperature increases through the ascending atmospheric layers, ”founded the ESA.