"Under the Sun?"...Not Quite, but Science Has Gotten Us Much Closer
We all grew up knowing very well to never look directly at the sun, and it honestly didn't take much convincing. One unfortunate glance, or a walk outside after being in a dark room for most of the day told you everything you needed to know. No deep level of squinting or extended car visor was going to protect you from the sun's devastating rays. This has led to a constant quest to discover "what does the sun actually look like, and what's the purpose of
all us inhabitants that reside in it's light?" A little deep you might think, but yet some
of the greatest discoveries in our universe were the result of literally scratching underneath the surface. With the sun being the most spectating force in our solar system, the reason behind its glow has always been a point of interest in curious minds. Perhaps even the inspiration to Dreamville's anthem "Under the Sun" with J-Cole, Lute, Kendrick Lamar, & Da Baby.
That quest for knowledge has remained a constant burning fuel and thanks to the latest advancements in science, the mystery behind this sphere of plasma is a little more clear.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Maui has just revealed the most detailed images of the sun's surface that have ever been recorded. The telescope, known quite simply as
DKIST, can make observations of the sun in visible to near-infared wavelengths. It is currently the largest solar telescope in the world, another reason for its Dr. Dre like production value. Assisted by a state of the art cooling system to protect the advanced components from overheating, the resulting pictures are literally one for the record books.
Convecting masses of excited gas and plasma appear to resemble cell like structures about the size of Texas. Darkened lanes in between reflect regions of cooling and sinking plasma, all as a result of the transportation of heat from the sun's interior. These actions result in a phenomenon we know of as space weather. Extremely powerful solar conditions due to the sun's magnetic fields that can disrupt communications and navigation. Conditions that we are still looking to gain a full grasp on, and one that these images will give us a much better understanding of.
These new findings will enable scientists in the near future to better predict solar weather conditions, by having a better understanding of the inner workings of our still mysterious sun. A solar orbiter launch in the coming weeks will further assist in these improved solar weather tracking plans. Allowing us to get an even closer sneak peak at our main sequence star from just a 42 million km vantage point. A point of view that even the Dreamville camp would find awe-inspiring.