Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
January 6, 1997
Explanation: The Sun is a bubbling ball of extremely hot
gas. In this false-colour picture,
light blue regions are extremely hot - over 1 million degrees,
while dark blue regions are slightly cooler. The camera filter used
was highly sensitive to the emission of highly charged iron ions,
which trace the magnetic field
of the Sun. The rich structure of
the image shows the great complexity of the Sun's
inner corona. A small active region
can be seen just to the right and above centre. This picture
was taken in ultraviolet (extremely
blue) light by the Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Telescope
(EIT) on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
(SOHO) spacecraft, which is orbiting the Sun
just ahead of the Earth, at the L1 point.
SOHO was launched in 1995 and will continually monitor the Sun
for several years.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.