4 Cool Views of the Hot, Loopy, Spotty Sun

by Nancy Atkinson on January 8, 2013

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The Sun in H-Alpha on 01-07-2013, as seen with a Lunt Solar LS60Scope/LS50, and Hydrogen Alpha Solar filter. Credit: John Chumack

The Sun in H-Alpha on 01-07-2013, as seen with a Lunt Solar LS60Scope/LS50, and Hydrogen Alpha Solar filter. Credit: John Chumack

A few sunspots are now ‘peppering” the surface of our Sun — Spaceweather.com lists about 12 different sunspot groups today. Yesterday (January 7, 2013), astrophotographer John Chumack stepped outside over his lunch break and captured some cool-looking views of the Sun from his observatory in Ohio, using different filters.

See more below, plus the Solar Dynamics Observatory has a spectacular video of coronal loops on the Sun during January 5 through 7.


The video shows the 171 angstroms channel, which is especially good at showing coronal loops – the arcs extending off of the Sun where plasma moves along the magnetic field lines, said the SDO team. The brightest spots seen here are locations where the magnetic field near the surface is exceptionally strong. The characteristic temperature here is 1 million K (or 1.8 million F).

Many of these loops could fit several Earths inside of them.

Different views from different filters from John Chumack:

The Sun in H-Alpha, on 01-07-2013, using a Lunt Solar LS60Scope/LS50 Hydrogen Alpha Solar filter. Credit: John Chumack

The Sun in H-Alpha, on 01-07-2013, using a Lunt Solar LS60Scope/LS50 Hydrogen Alpha Solar filter. Credit: John Chumack

The Sun on 1/07/13 as seen using a White Light Glass filter. Credit: John Chumack

The Sun on 1/07/13 as seen using a White Light Glass filter. Credit: John Chumack

See more of John’s work at his website, Galactic Images, or his Flickr page.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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