New images from the Inouye telescope show the Sun like never before – VTM.cz

The amazing Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST, after the English Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope) works in the grounds of the Haleakalā Observatory of the American University of Hawaii, on top of the volcano of the same name on the island of Maui, at an altitude of 3 kilometers. The Inouye Telescope is the result of a quarter century of planning and construction. It will soon be a year since it officially began scientific observations in November 2021.

Chromosphere (Photo: NSO/AURA/NSF)

The operators of this amazing instrument recently celebrated the upcoming anniversary with new images that showcase our star in exceptional detail. Each of these images captures a region of the Sun about 82,500 kilometers in size, with the high resolution able to show objects up to 18 kilometers in size.

The Inouye Solar Telescope is currently the most powerful device of its kind. Among other things, it can image the chromosphere, the middle layer of the Sun’s “atmosphere” that lies below the solar corona. At the same time, it is usually invisible and can only be observed during a total solar eclipse, when it forms the red edge of an “off” star.

It’s not just about aesthetics

Astronomer and telescope observation specialist Matt Mountain, who is president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), considers the launch of the Inouye telescope a “ribbon-cutting” for a new era of solar physics.


Chromosphere (Photo: NSO/AURA/NSF)

At the same time, of course, it is not just about nice and very aesthetic pictures. The observations of the Inouye telescope may lead us, for example, to improve predictions of the Sun’s behavior, especially solar storms, which flood the Solar System with hot plasma and could seriously affect modern civilization, which today relies heavily on satellites and electronics.

In a press release, Mountain expressed thanks to the US grant agency National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Congress for critically important financial support.

Last but not least, he also thanked the native inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands for being able to work at the exceptional location of the Haleakalā volcano, as some of them have been opposing the construction and operation of astronomical facilities in recent years.

The article is in Czech

Tags: images Inouye telescope show Sun VTM .cz

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