Sun: these unprecedented new images intrigue scientists

2023-05-29 12:00:37

As the sun’s activity approaches its predicted peak in July 2025 – a cycle that takes place approximately every 11 years – astronomers have just observed unprecedented and impressive images of our star. Sunspots revealed in unprecedented detail intrigue scientists.

These are eight images recently unveiled by the Hawaii-based Inouye Solar Telescope that challenge the community of astronomers. Here you can discover, like never before, the details of gigantic sunspots, some of which exceed the size of our planet, reports CNN.

These observations are considered crucial by astronomers and astrophysicists who are closely interested in our sun. Indeed, it obeys a cycle of activity spread over 11 years and which must reach its peak by July 2025, according to NASA. A deadline which is only a brief second on a cosmic scale, but which is important, since this period of activity should make it possible to better understand the functioning of the magnetic field of our sun, but also the causes and the frequency solar storms that can have consequences on our planet, yet located more than 150 million kilometers from our star.


“Complex sunspots or groups of sunspots can be the source of explosive events like flares and coronal mass ejections that generate solar storms. These energetic and eruptive phenomena influence the outermost atmospheric layer of the Sun, the heliosphere, with the potential to have an impact on the Earth and our critical infrastructure”, thus detail the specialists of la National science foundation (NSF) in the United States, which scan the surface of the sun.

The “quiet” regions of the sun, in particular, show dark and elongated filaments coming from locations of magnetic field accumulations, it is explained.


“A sunspot is identifiable by its dark central umbra and surrounding filamentary structure penumbra,” the NSF says, as seen in the image above. Scientists thus believe they have elements that allow them to understand the appearance of these sunspots, but also the process that leads to their disappearance. Key elements, since what happens on the surface of the sun also makes it possible to understand how our star “lives”.

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