What Makes the Sun Look Like a Flowering Thistle?

Post 4262

Katharine Trendacosta

http://io9.com/what-makes-the-sun-look-like-a-flowering-thistle-1686703247

What Makes the Sun Look Like a Flowering Thistle?

What Makes the Sun Look Like a Flowering Thistle?

When you are looking at a specific kind of red light emitted by hydrogen. This color-inverted photo was taken in October of last year by the Big Bear Solar Observatory’s 1.6 meter New Solar Telescope. They say it looks like a rose, but I definitely see a thistle.

Image: Big Bear Solar Observatory/NJIT

The photo is of a relatively small sunspot in active solar region 2177. The “petals” are fibrils, tubes of hot plasma confined by magnetism. You can see a colorized and contrast-adjusted image by Alan Friedman here.

 

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