Inside the largest solar generator

sun today 550x550 Inside the largest solar generator

The sun today

The image above was taken at 6:24 thismorning Universal Time (UT), which corresponds to 11:24 PM, Sundaynight here in Phoenix, Arizona. Scientists who study the suncolor-coded the image as green to indicate areas of the solaratmosphere that are 2.7 million degrees Fahrenheit.

The video below shows the sun as it turns— taking 25 Earth days to complete each full rotation. Solar weatherevents to look for in the video include solar flares, massiveexplosions of super-heated gases that shoot from the sun at a speed ofmore than a million miles an hour.

These image were taken by an extremeultraviolet imaging telescope (EIT), one of many instruments aboard theSolar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) launched into space inDecember 1994. Although SOHO has been a great workhorse for fifteenyears, NASA astrophysicist Joseph Gurman tells the Phoenix Sunthat a far more sophisticated space observatory is scheduled to launchtoward the end of this year. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) willtake images every ten seconds with a resolution nearly four timesgreater than the EIT.

(Photo and video courtesy of SOHO/EIT consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA)

There’s a lot more on the SDO here, and on the SOHO here,