Solar Dynamics Observatory serves up the sun, three ways

April 11 (UPI) — How the sun looks through the lens of a telescope depends on which frequency is being observed. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory is capable of imaging the sun in a wide range of frequencies.

In a new composite image, shared this week by NASA, the sun is showcased in three different extreme ultraviolet wavelengths. As evidenced by the image, each frequency reveals different structures and phenomena.

The far left third of the image reveals the red phase of the sun, imaged at 304 Angstroms. The frequency reveals dozens of small jets of solar material called spicules. The frequency also showcases several prominences along the sun’s edge, features that aren’t visible at different spectral bands.

The middle image, observed at 193 Angstroms, reveals a sizable coronal hole. The dark splotch is less obvious when rendered in other frequencies.

In the right third of the image, showcasing a frequency band of 171 wavelengths, displays the whisky waves of plasma streaming off the surface of the sun.

SDO’s comer images the sun every 12 seconds, nonstop, in 10 different ultraviolet wavelengths.