Most detailed images ever taken of the sun

A close-up image of the surface of the sun.

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A close-up image of the surface of the sun.

Wow.

A new telescope has captured some of the most detailed, close-up images of the sun ever taken, the National Science Foundation announced Wednesday.

One of the images shows a pattern of turbulent “boiling” plasma that covers the entire sun. The cell-like structures – each about the size of Texas – are the signature of violent motions that transport heat from the inside of the sun to its surface. 

According to the NSF, the Inouye Solar Telescope will “enable a new era of solar science and a leap forward in understanding the sun and its impacts on our planet.”

The telescope is located on the summit of Mount Haleakala on Maui, in Hawaii.

“It is literally the greatest leap in humanity’s ability to study the sun from the ground since Galileo’s time. It’s a big deal,” said Jeff Kuhn of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Institute for Astronomy

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