Looking at the Sun in extreme ultraviolet reveals the ever-changing structure in the solar corona, the upper atmosphere of the Sun. This view is now delivered in ultra-high-definition thanks to new observations from Solar Orbiter.
From a distance of 75 million kilometers – about halfway between the Earth’s orbit and the Sun – Solar Orbiter snapped a picture containing over 83 million pixels in a 9148 x 9112-pixel grid. That’s a resolution 10 times better than a 4K TV screen display.
It took more than four hours for the spacecraft to collect the image with the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI).
The full zoomable image can be seen below
At the same time as the EUI observations, the SPICE instrument was examining the different elemental components of the solar atmosphere, from the chromosphere to the corona. These different layers have different temperatures, and ultraviolet light comes from different excited atoms.
In the combined animation, the purple corresponds to hydrogen gas at a temperature of 10,000°C (18,032°F), blue to carbon at 32,000°C (57,632°F), green to oxygen at 320,000°C (576,032°F), yellow to neon at 630,000°C (1,134,032°F).
The observations were conducted on March 7. Solar Orbiter is an international collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA.