New Way Of Looking At The Sun: See it in Extreme Ultraviolet Light To Show Solar Plasma

Here is one of NASA’s latest videos of the surface of the sun — but it’s not just any video showing coronal mass ejections. This video was shot using a specific “extreme ultraviolet light” to best showcase the plasma in the sun’s atmosphere, also known as the corona.

Peacock, active region

The corona reaches 600,000 Kelvin. In case you have forgotten sophomore chemistry, 273.16K is equivalent to 32.02 degrees F. To figure out the equivalent of Kelvins to degrees Fahrenheit an you multiply Kelvins by (9/5) and then subtract 459. The temperature of the corona is 1,079,540.33 degrees F.

Check out the video, which Gizmodo describes as “our sun like you have never seen it before:”

This video takes SDO images and applies additional processing to enhance the structures visible. While there is no scientific value to this processing, it does result in a beautiful, new way of looking at the sun. The original frames are in the 171 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet. This wavelength shows plasma in the solar atmosphere, called the corona, that is around 600,000 Kelvin. The loops represent plasma held in place by magnetic fields. They are concentrated in “active regions” where the magnetic fields are the strongest. These active regions usually appear in visible light as sunspots. The events in this video represent 24 hours of activity on September 25, 2011.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at:

According to NASA’s description, “there is no scientific value” to the image processing that was used to enhance the structures in this video, but “it does result in a beautiful, new way of looking at the sun.”

In the video, the loops you see are plasma “held in place by magnetic fields,” according to NASA. In visible light, these are considered sunspots.





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