The new Inouye solar telescope is the most powerful in the world

In recent months, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has dazzled us with breathtaking images of galactic collisions and phantom galaxies, while Hubble continues to produce exquisite views of distant nebulae and distant star clusters. . But now our own sun is in the limelight as the study center of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope recently inaugurated by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Inouye Solar Telescope is the most powerful in the world, and to celebrate its first successful year in its Operations Commissioning (OCP) phase, the NSF has released two stunning photos of our sun like never before.

Related: On Hubble’s 32nd Anniversary, NASA Shares a Photo of 5 Closely Connected Galaxies

About the new images from the Inouye Solar Telescope

The new images detail the Sun’s chromosphere, which is the area of ​​the atmosphere above the surface. The telescope captured an area of ​​51,263 miles using the hydrogen-beta line, a visible wavelength emitted by the hydrogen atom. The purpose of the telescope is to collect data on solar physics and space weather that affect life on Earth.

Earth for scale: the image covers 82,500 kilometers (51,263 miles). ONS/AURA/NSF

“NSF’s Inouye Solar Telescope is the world’s most powerful solar telescope that will forever change the way we explore and understand our sun,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “His insights will transform the way our country and the planet predict and prepare for events such as solar storms.”

The Inouye Solar Telescope is located on sacred land important to Native Hawaiians, and the Inouye Solar Telescope Native Hawaiian Task Force advised the project on cultural issues during construction. Since launching OCP in February this year, the 25-year-long telescope has collected data for more than 20 projects and worked in coordination with NASA’s Parker Solar Probe and ESA’s Solar Orbiter /NASA.

While we can’t wait to see all that JWST and Hubble discover across the universe, these new photos from the Inouye Solar Telescope have us just as excited to see what’s to be discovered in our next quarter.

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