Inside the largest solar generator

The sun today

The sun today

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.

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(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,

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3 thoughts on “Inside the largest solar generator

  1. Amazing images, but surprised to see the green when I expected solar flares, etc. to show up in “hot” colors.

  2. And I thought that only the moon was green? Seems every where you look these days things and people are turning green! (I got your widget and posted on my blog. Gotta move it to the side however, as it landed into my blog space….) keep up the great Research!
    Director Online Marketing
    Globe Solar Energy

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