Scientists have revealed a fresh view of dark, contorted centre of a sunspot along with other invisible details of our Sun.
Astrnomers harnessing the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) antennas were carefully designed to image the Sun without being damaged by the intense heat of the focused light.
Scientists from European Southern Observatory (ESO), produced the images as a demonstration of ALMA’s ability to study solar activity at longer wavelengths of light than are typically available to solar observatories on Earth.
Sun, its surface and intense heat have the subject of study and curiosity for the researchers over the centuries. In order to achieve a fuller understanding, astronomers need to study it across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including the millimetre and submillimetre portion that ALMA can observe.
The result images manifest ALMA’s unique vision and ability to study the Sun. The data from this solar observing campaign are being released this week to the worldwide astronomical community for further study and analysis.
Using two of ALMA’s receiver band, the scientists observed an enormous sunspot at wavelengths of 1.25 millimetres and three millimetres.
What are Sun spots?
These are transient features that occur in regions where the Sun’s magnetic field is extremely concentrated and powerful.
Relatively lower in temperature than the surrounding regions, which is why they appear dark.