The beautiful surface of the Sun

Phil Plait linked to this amazing photo of the Sun on the Bad Astronomy blog today. It's incredible. Like nothing I've ever seen before. The photographer is Alan Friedman. Plait explains how Friedman got this look, which is a very nice reminder that space photography is seldom really about "point and click".

Alan uses an Hα filter, which cuts out almost all the light from the Sun except for a narrow slice of color emitted by warm hydrogen. This reduces the glare hugely, and reveals delicate structures in the Sun’s plasma. He then inverts the image, so bright things appear dark, and vice-versa. That’s an old astronomer’s trick that makes fainter things easier to see.

Like this close-up? Go to the Bad Astronomy blog to see Alan Friedman's photo of the full Sun. Your mind will be blown. I promise.


    1. I came here to ask if anybody else saw the owl and the first comment is someone who saw it. How cool is that?

      From your name I deduct we are from very different cultural backgrounds. Which proofs to me that we are not so different, we see the same things when we look through the same eyes…

  1. It’s nice, I guess, but not worthy of hyperbole.  “Like nothing I’ve ever seen before”?  It brings to mind a microscope image of a dust particle – or even a macroscopic image of a piece of fluff.

  2. Mind: blown

    Liek Jorpho, I thought it looked like something hugely magnified (instead of exactly the opposite!), but I was thinking more biological. This a bacteria, or a virus (do they look like that? probably not) or a fungus spore.

  3. Compare the full sun photo to this one:×7548777/human_egg_cell_and_sperm_cells_esem

  4. This one is just awesome, but as others have already linked, the full sun disk has to be seen too. This is just so abstract, it is almost not comprensible, that this is the sun after all.

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