Most detailed image of the Sun has been released by astronomers in the United States. The image, showing as small as 30km features across the sun was made possible through a telescope having a 13-foot mirror, making it the largest for a solar telescope. It was originally known as the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope and was renamed in the honour of the late Senator Daniel Inouye in December 2013.
In the image, the Sun looks like a boiling pot of popcorn, belies the notion of a bland yellow orb. Details in the newly released images show plasma, which covers the sun, that appears to boil.
"Since NSF began work on this ground-based telescope, we have eagerly awaited the first images," France Cordova, National Science Foundation director said.
"We can now share these images and videos, which are the most detailed of our Sun to date. NSF's Inouye Solar Telescope will be able to map the magnetic fields within the Sun's corona, where solar eruptions occur that can impact life on Earth. This telescope will improve our understanding of what drives space weather and ultimately help forecasters better predict solar storms."
"Over the next six months, the Inouye telescope's team of scientists, engineers and technicians will continue testing and commissioning the telescope to make it ready for use by the international solar scientific community. The Inouye Solar Telescope will collect more information about our Sun during the first five years of its lifetime than all the solar data gathered since Galileo first pointed a telescope at the Sun in 1612," said David Boboltz, programme director in NSF's division of astronomical sciences and who oversees the facility's construction and operations.