The U.S. National Science Foundation’s Daniel Wells Solar Telescope (DKIST) recently captured the highest-ever image of the sun’s surface, providing unprecedented detail,media CNET reported. The telescope is located in Heilkara, the highest peak in Maui, Hawaii (about 3048 meters above sea level). For the first time, features as small as 18 miles in diameter can be seen in this image. The sun’s agitating plasma is similar to a cytomese, each about the size of Texas, USA. Using the DKIST solar telescope, scientists can observe the size of the sun’s features by a third smaller than any visible object today.
This close-up is just the beginning of a new telescope’s observation of a million-degree plasma “mixball.” The National Science Foundation says the DKIST solar telescope is expected to gather more information about the sun’s coronal behavior.
The sun consumes about 5 million tons of hydrogen fuel per second due to nuclear fusion, making life possible on Earth. With its 4-meter f/2 aperture, the largest of any solar telescope, the telescope is expected to be able to map the magnetic field in the sun’s corona and help scientists better understand how these changes affect life on Earth.
The first photo taken on December 10, 2019 marks the unofficial beginning of work on the DKIST solar telescope, which is still technically under construction. When it officially begins, the 13-foot mirror telescope will be the most powerful solar telescope in the world. The latest solar imaging technology will not be available until July 2020.