A glimpse of the transit…
June 5, 2012 Leave a comment
Hey everybody! So I hope all of you are watching the NASA live feed of the transit of Venus and seeing cool things like above.
So here is a mid-transit update of some very cool transit things.
First off, you should check out helioviewer.org a very cool website that allows you to make your own compilation of solar images or videos from a multitude of satellites and data from NASA, NOAA, ESA, and more!
Here’s another great shot in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Again you can see the dark spot, Venus, about halfway across the Sun’s disk. You’ll notice that the EUV allows you to see a lot different detail than the visible light image above. Here we can see the solar corona, or atmosphere, as well as flux tubes (hot plasma trapped along magnetic field lines). That extremely bright region just below Venus with the massive flux tubes flowing out of it is associated with the sunspot you see in the same location on the visible light image above. Sunspots are caused by magnetic field lines on the surface of the Sun that cause a drop in surface temperature (from ~6000 K to only ~3000 K). That temperature drop causes the cooler region to seem dark compared to the rest of the Sun’s surface– hence, sunspots.