Telescope captures sunspots

Scitech Report

7 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Some more new high-res images of the Sun have been released and this time the pictures show sunspots in great detail. The images have been optioned by GREGOR, which is the largest solar telescope in Europe.

GREGOR is operated by a German consortium and located on Teide Observatory, Spain. The images show the structure of the Sun. “Following a major redesign of GREGOR’s optics, carried out by a team of scientists and engineers from the Leibniz Institute for Solar Physics (KIS), the Sun can be observed at a higher resolution than before from Europe,” the official release noted.

The release noted that the “GREGOR telescope allows scientists to resolve details as small as 50 km on the Sun, which is a tiny fraction of the solar diameter of 1.4 million km. 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.

Prof. Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina, professor at the Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg and Director of the Leibniz Institute for Solar Physics (KIS) said that the “project was rather risky because such telescope upgrades usually take years, but the great team work and meticulous planning have led to this success. Now we have a powerful instrument to solve puzzles on the Sun.”

The new optics of the GREGOR telescope is said to allow scientists to study magnetic fields, convection, turbulence, solar eruptions, and sunspots in great detail. The images of the Sun reveal astonishing details of sunspot evolution and intricate structures in the solar plasma.