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The highest resolution photograph of the Sun ever taken | Video HD solar surface

A new telescope built explicitly to study the Sun, the National Science Foundation's (DKIST) Daniel K.

Inouye 4-meter solar telescope, has sent its first images. 

They are impressive. In them we can look at the surface of the Sun as we have never seen before, revealing details of granules convection the size of Spain (or more), which resemble cells and which form the record of movements that transport heat from the interior of the Sun to its surface.

NSO/NSF, AURA. Hot plasma on the sun, the first images from the largest solar telescope in the globe.
NSO/NSF, AURA. Hot plasma on the sun, the first images from the largest solar telescope in the globe.

There is no doubt that this telescope leads to a new era of solar science and a leap forward in understanding the sun and its impact on our planet.

The surface of our Sun is an incredibly violent place and we can now observe it in great detail, thanks to the first images from this Hawaii-based telescope which, curiously enough, has not yet been completed but that has not stopped researchers from pointing it at the sun to see if it was working. 

The results have been more than welcome as they have seen the hot plasma churning strongly on the Sun.

Images never before seen

Despite being the closest star to Earth, the Sun remains a mystery. Fortunately, one of the main objectives of the Inouye solar telescope is to obtain images of the Sun's magnetic field in more detail than ever before.

The images show us plasma bubbles filtering out from deep within the star, small magnetic structures with incredible detail. 

The gas, because of the heat, expands and descends below the surface of the dark lines in a process known as convection. 

Each bubble is larger than countries like Spain or the state of Texas.

When the telescope is finished...

The world's largest solar telescope has captured its first image of the sun, the highest resolution image of our star to date. And it's not finished yet.

This telescope's unique resolution and sensitivity will allow it to probe the sun's magnetic field for the first time while studying the activities that drive space weather on Earth's neighborhood. You'll also delve into one of the sun's most famous mysteries: why the sun's corona, or outer shell, is hotter than its visible surface.

"These are the highest resolution images and films of the solar surface ever taken," Inouye's director, Thomas Rimmele, said during a press conference. "So far, we've just seen the tip of the iceberg."

Watching the sun is not an easy task

The main mirror focuses 13 kilowatts of power, generating an incredible amount of heat. For this reason, there is a continuous cooling system that protects the instruments and makes the observatory accessible to researchers. 

That's why this telescope has been in development for more than 20 years.

"The Inouye Solar Telescope will gather more information about our Sun during the first 5 years of its life span than will be possible with all of the solar data collected since Galileo first pointed a telescope at the Sun in 1612," said David Boboltz, program director in NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences that oversees the construction and operations of the facility.

The telescope will be completed in June 2020.