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The Most Detailed Pic of a Sunspot Ever

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posted on Aug, 26 2010 @ 01:03 PM

Researchers at Big Bear Solar Observatory have tuned their adaptive optics array and achieved first light, capturing this image of a sunspot that is now the most detailed ever captured in visible light. The image was captured with Big Bear’s New Solar Telescope (NST), a brand new instrument (as the name implies) with a resolution of just 50 miles on the sun’s surface.
The NST is the precursor to an even-larger telescope, the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST), which will be constructed over the next decade, allowing Big Bear researchers to build a new kind of adaptive optics system known as multi-conjugate adaptive optics, that should provide them with a clear, distortion-free means of observing the sun from Earth in unrivaled detail.
In the meantime, NST will collect incredibly detailed images of solar phenomena like this that should help researchers understand the complexities of solar weather and its impact on the space climate in our neighborhood of the solar system.

I thought this a pretty awesome picture, with such detail. It looks like a sunflower or even a skin lesion. This pic looks like skin cells too. This new telescope(NST) is awesome and I look forward to some more shots. As the article states, a newer and better telescope is on the way too, the ATST. This is exciting to be able to peer into our cosmos like this. Who knows what other little gems of beauty lie waiting to be observed.

ATST telescope -

multi-conjugate adaptive optics


[edit on 26-8-2010 by speculativeoptimist]

posted on Aug, 26 2010 @ 01:05 PM
Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

Where's a plucky hobbit when you need one?

posted on Aug, 26 2010 @ 01:21 PM
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