Using Europe's largest solar telescope, GREGOR, researchers captured these incredible images of details on the surface of the sun. Above is a sunspot while the image below "reveals intricate structures of solar magnetic fields." In this case, the smallest details are around 50 km, which compared to the sun's diameter of 1.4 million km, is pretty small. From the Leibniz-Institut fuer Sonnenphysik:
This is as if one saw a needle on a soccer field perfectly sharp from a distance of one kilometer.
"This was a very exciting, but also extremely challenging project. In only one year we completely redesigned the optics, mechanics, and electronics to achieve the best possible image quality." said Dr. Lucia Kleint, who led the project and the German solar telescopes on Tenerife. A major technical breakthrough was achieved by the project team in March this year, during the lockdown, when they were stranded at the observatory and set up the optical laboratory from the ground up. Unfortunately, snow storms prevented solar observations. When Spain reopened in July, the team immediately flew back and obtained the highest resolution images of the Sun ever taken by a European telescope.