Telescope reveals details of sun’s turbulent surface

AP Science

This undated photo provided by the National Science Foundation in January 2020 shows on of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope’s first images of the sun, revealing its turbulent gas surface in what scientists called unprecedented detail. Prof. Jeffrey Kuhn of the University of Hawaii, Manoa says this image is about 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) on a side, and that the “bubbles” on the surface are about the size of Texas. (NSO/NSF/AURA via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — A telescope in Hawaii has produced its first images of the sun, revealing its turbulent gas surface in what scientists called unprecedented detail.

They show the surface covered with bright cell-like areas, each about the size of Texas, that result from the transporting of heat from the sun’s interior. The telescope can reveal features as small as 18 miles (30 km) across, according to the National Science Foundation, which released the images Wednesday.

Further observations will help scientists understand and predict solar activity that can disrupt satellite communications and affect power grids, the foundation said. The telescope is on the island of Maui.

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