NSF’s Solar Telescope Captures the Most Detailed Images of The Sun’s Boiling Surface Ever Taken

The National Science Foundation has released the first high-definition closeup footage of the sun’s surface. These astounding images, which were captured using the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, which is located on the Hawai’ian summit of the Haleakala Volcano in Maui, revealed boiling surfaces cells that look like bubbling corn cereal and are each as big as the size of Texas.

The images show a pattern of turbulent “boiling” plasma that covers the entire sun. The cell-like structures — each about the size of Texas — are the signature of violent motions that transport heat from the inside of the sun to its surface. That hot solar plasma rises in the bright centers of “cells,” cools, then sinks below the surface in dark lanes in a process known as convection.

Surface of the Sun

Surface of the Sun With Cells as Big as Texas

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.