The image above was taken at 6:24 this morning Universal Time (UT), which corresponds to 11:24 PM, Sunday night here in Phoenix, Arizona. Scientists who study the sun color-coded the image as green to indicate areas of the solar atmosphere 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 weather events to look for in the video include solar flares, massive explosions of super-heated gases that shoot from the sun at a speed of more than a million miles an hour.
These image were taken by an extreme ultraviolet imaging telescope (EIT), one of many instruments aboard the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) launched into space in December 1994. Although SOHO has been a great workhorse for fifteen years, NASA astrophysicist Joseph Gurman tells the Phoenix Sun that a far more sophisticated space observatory is scheduled to launch toward the end of this year. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) will take images every ten seconds with a resolution nearly four times greater than the EIT.
(Photo and video courtesy of SOHO/EIT consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA)