Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wavelength Views of the Sun

This movie, created by NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., shows how features of the sun can appear dramatically different when viewed in different wavelengths. Image Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Telescopes help distant objects appear bigger, but this is only one of their advantages. Telescopes can also collect light in ranges that our eyes alone cannot see, providing scientists ways of observing a whole host of material and processes that would otherwise be inaccessible. A new NASA movie of the sun based on data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, shows the wide range of wavelengths – invisible to the naked eye – that the telescope can view. SDO converts the wavelengths into an image humans can see, and the light is colorized into a rainbow of colors.NASA's SDO Shows the Sun's Rainbow of Wavelengths