Behold, the Clearest Photo of a Sunspot Ever Taken
2013-08-09 0:00

By Robert T. Gonzalez | io9

Why dont you go ahead and let this one sink in. Bask in it, if you will. Well wait.

The unprecedented view was recently released by scientists at Big Bear Solar Observatory in the mountains of East L.A. Imaged by the New Solar Telescope (aka the "NST"), the photograph is among the first to be captured by the NSTs newly equipped Visible Imaging Spectrometer (VIS). It is the new record-holder for most detailed sunspot ever obtained in visible light (the outgoing champion was also photographed by the NST back in 2010). The 1.6-meter telescope, despite its name, has been making observations for close to five years now.

"With [VIS], the [layers of the] solar atmosphere from the photosphere to the chromosphere can be monitored in a near real time," said Wenda Cao, Associate Professor of Physics at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and BBSO Associate Director, in a statement.


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