Clever camera trick reveals hidden secrets of the sun’s atmosphere

The scientists behind the Sun Observation Probe have applied a simple hack to one of its cameras, allowing them to look at rare regions in the sun’s atmosphere.

Using the Solar Orbiter’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) instrument, the team of scientists behind the mission was able to record a portion of the Sun’s atmosphere at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths. the last one-Tweaking the tool includes adding a small, prominent markthumb To block the bright light coming from the sun like that that the dim light of its atmosphere can be made visible.

“It was a real breakthrough,” Frédéric Aucher, an astrophysicist at the Astrophysical Institute of the University of Paris-Sud in France and a member of the EUI team, said in an article. statement. “I came up with the idea to do this and see if it worked. It’s actually a very simple modification to the tool.

EUI produces high-resolution images of structures in the sun’s atmosphere. The team behind the tool has added a thumbscrew to the EUI’s safety door, which slides away to let light into the camera so it can take pictures of the sun. However, if the door stops halfway, the thumb will shield the bright light coming from the door The sun’s disk is in the center so that faint ultraviolet light from the corona (the outermost part of the atmosphere) can be seen.

A new way to see the sun

The result is an ultraviolet image of the sun’s corona. An ultraviolet image of the sun’s disk was superimposed in the centre, in the area left blank by the thumb hack, according to the European Space Agency.

The corona is usually hidden by the bright light from the Sun’s surface, and can often be seen during a total solar eclipse. The camera penetration simulates the same effect as an eclipse by blocking sunlight. The sun’s corona has long baffled scientists because it is hotter than the sun’s surface, with temperatures reaching 1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit (one million degrees Celsius), and is one of the great mysteries surrounding our host star.

“We’ve shown that this works so well that you can now think of a new type of instrument that can image the sun and its corona,” Daniel Müller, ESA’s Solar Orbiter project scientist, said in a statement.

The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter was launched in 2020 with the goal of capturing images of the Sun at a closer distance than any other spacecraft and using six instruments to unlock some of the star’s secrets.

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(tags for translation)sun

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