One of the most powerful solar observatories in the world has just completed a major upgrade. And now Spain’s GREGOR solar telescope has captured the highest resolution images of the sun obtained in Europe.
In the new image of the upgraded telescope, it is possible to identify small details as small as 50 km (31 miles) amidst round and round activity on the solar surface.
“This was a very interesting but very challenging project.” Lucia Kleint, a physicist and GREGOR’s chief scientist “In just one year, we completely redesigned our optical, mechanical and electronic devices to get the best possible image quality” from Leibniz Institute for Solar Physics (KIS).
Interestingly Coronavirus Infectious Disease-19: Corona 19 The blockade became an obstacle to scientific research, and it helped in this case. According to Posted on KIS website, Scientists were stranded at the observatory during the March shutdown in Spain. Instead of wasting time, they set out to set up an optical laboratory.
They were able to solve two important problems caused by a pair of mirrors. coma and astigmatism, As a result, the image is blurred and distorted. Due to the optical lab’s design and limited space, these mirrors had to be completely replaced with off-axis parabolic mirrors polished to a precision within 1/10 of the width of a human hair.
A blizzard disrupted observations for a while, but when Spain reopened in July, the first thing the GREGOR team did was launch an upgraded telescope.
The new first illuminated image shows solar granules, the top of the convective cell in solar plasma. The middle of each granule is lighter. That’s where the hot plasma rises from below. As this plasma cools, it moves outward and then falls to the depth of the darker edge of each granule.
It looks like popcorn, but don’t be fooled. Common granules are 1,500 kilometers (930 miles), a little over 10% of Earth’s diameter.
Another image and video shows a lone sunspot adorning the face of the sun on July 30, 2020. This is a transient area where the Sun’s magnetic field is particularly strong, which interferes with the Sun’s normal surface convective activity. It looks darker on the sun’s surface because it is cooler than the material around it.
This sunspot area is very interesting to us. Because the magnetic field lines break, get tangled and reconnect. These magnetic reconnections release enormous amounts of energy, creating solar flares and corona mass emissions, which can affect us here on Earth and disrupt satellite navigation and communications.
Images such as those taken from GREGOR and other high-resolution solar observatories such as Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii include: 30 kilometers, with Big Bear Solar Observatory In the United States, it can help you better understand these solar processes.
Also, we will never get tired of seeing amazing images of the sun’s surface.
A paper describing the telescope upgrade Astronomy and Astrophysics.