In the past, spacecraft like the Parker Solar Probe or the Solar Orbiter have helped scientists better understand the Sun. However, the operation of the Daniel K. Inouye telescope has helped astronomers not need to launch anything into space and still be able to observe the Sun from the ground.
Thanks to this type of super telescope, the Solar observatory located in Hawaii has discovered an impressive black spot on this star’s surface. The black spot is called Umbra and has a huge diameter, about the same as the diameter of the Earth.
Earlier on February 25, 2022, the Parker Solar probe also took an image of the Umbra black spot. The observations by the Daniel K.Inouye telescope have been combined with data collected by Parker Solar to create more comprehensive data sets of a wide range of phenomena taking place on the Sun.
Scientifically, sunspots are formed when energy inside the Sun cannot escape to the surface because it is prevented by a strong magnetic field. Areas of the surface where no energy escapes will have a lower temperature than the rest.
While the bright red areas of the Sun have an average temperature of 5000 degrees Celsius, these dark regions only have a temperature of about 3800 degrees Celsius. Due to the lower temperature difference, from a distance, they look like black spots.
There are always many sunspots on the Sun, but giant sunspots like Umbra are still thought to be a rare phenomenon.
With the advent of the Daniel K. Inouye telescope, space science has added a wonderful tool in observing the Sun. This type of super-telescope can capture images of the Sun’s surface with high resolution, clear detail like no other device has ever done.
Last month, the Daniel K. Inouye telescope began operating just in time to record violent eruptions, sunspots and changes in the Sun in space. The images provided by Inouye will help scientists study and predict solar events that may affect our Earth.