The boiling, erupting Sun | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine


Link: The boiling, erupting Sun | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

Holy solar retinopathy! That’s the Sun?

Yup. But this is not a space-based image from some bazillion dollar observatory! This phenomenal picture was taken by astrophotographer Alan Friedman with this relatively small (but very, very nice) ’scope. He shot it on October 20th, and it shows our nearest star in the light of hydrogen, specifically what astronomers call Hα (H-alpha). I’ll get to that in a sec…

In this picture you can see sunspots, giant convection cells, and the gas that follows magnetic loops piercing the Sun’s surface. When we see them against the Sun’s surface they’re called filaments, and when they arc against the background sky on the edge of the Sun’s disk they’re called prominences.

Read more by going all clicky-clicky, it’s a great read (and an awesome blog)!