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The Sun has for many years been an object of study. To unravel all of its mysteries, the Solar Telescope Daniel K. Inouye -DKIST, for its acronym in English – is already working without rest from Maui, Hawaii.
With an aperture of four meters, this solar telescope is the largest in the world and has just put in place its machinery. The technology behind this powerful device has allowed us to know our star a bit closer: they have published the highest resolution images of the solar surface ever made, that reveal unprecedented details.
This incredible view of the Sun is the first of many images that the DKIST we are going to provide and that will help to reveal “a new era of solar science and a leap forward in the understanding of the Sun and its impacts on our planet”, say in a press release from the National Science Foundation -NSF-, the entity behind the telescope.
it Is expected that the Inouye collect more information about our star during the first five years of life that all data solar collected from Galileo pointed for the first time a telescope at the Sun in 1612.
the first images from The telescope show a view in the first plane of the solar surface. It is a pattern of plasma turbulent ‘boiling’ that covers all the Sun. The structures in the form of ‘cells’ -each one the size of Texas – are the ‘signature’ of the violent movements that carry heat from the interior of the Sun to its surface.
“The plasma hot solar rises in the centers of bright of the ‘cells’, it cools, and then sinks below the surface in lanes dark in a process known as ‘convection’”, explained from the NSF.
And to better understand the process bring this video:
The activity on the Sun, known as space weather, can affect systems on Earth: its eruptions are magnetic, and can impair the air transport, disrupt satellite communications and knock out power grids, causing power outages lasting and technologies of deactivation as the GPS.
“The Solar Telescope Inouye, NSF will be able to map the magnetic fields within the corona of the Sun, where solar flares that can affect life on Earth. This telescope will enhance our understanding of what drives space weather and, ultimately, will help forecasters to better predict solar storms,” says France Córdova, director of the NSF.
Know the space weather in the same way we know the climate on Earth is “essential”, since “the magnetic fields ‘twisted’ can cause solar storms that affect seriously and adversely to our modern lifestyles, dependent of the technology”, he added.
For example, during the day the hurricane Irma touched earth in 2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that a weather event spatial simultaneous knocked down the communications radio used by first responders, aviation, and marine channels for up to eight hours.
it Is expected that thanks to the new solar telescope the notification of potential impacts can occur before, with up to a 48-hour notice instead of 48 minutes, which is approximately the current standard. This would allow more time to ensure the electric grids and critical infrastructure, and putting satellites in safe mode.
The Sun is our nearest star: a giant nuclear reactor that burns around five million tonnes of hydrogen fuel per second. Has been doing it for about 5,000 million years ago, and will continue for the other 4,500 million years of his life. All that energy radiates to space in all directions, and the small fraction that hits the Earth makes life possible.
The solar telescope Inouye can resolve features as small as 30 km on the surface of the sun. In comparison with the solar telescope previous funded with public funds, the Dunn of NSF, which can resolve features of 160 km, this is a resolution more than 5 times better.
January 30, 2020
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