back to article Sun sat sends stunning solar snap

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has demonstrated its "unprecedented new capability" by firing back some impressive first images of the Sun, including this "full-disk multiwavelength extreme ultraviolet image", captured on 30 March: The SDO's full-disk multiwavelength extreme ultraviolet image of the sun. Pic: NASA …


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  1. Martin Erdelen


    "Reds are relatively cool [...]; blues and greens are hotter [...]."

    Seems counter-intuitive a.k.a. the wrong way round. Any special reason for this?

    (Saved image, converted to negative, increased Red component -- looks more "convincing"...)

  2. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    The Older... images were constant favorites, but the camera was severly degraded by the solar wind.

    I have an almost serious theory that the Sun is sentient, and has bets with his star buddies concerning who can make the doofiest life form.

    If that is so, we humans can be proud of helping him win.

    /me Cracks anothe 211 and watches the show.

  3. Rob 5
    Thumb Up

    Stephen Baxter.

    That is all.

  4. blackworx
    Thumb Up



    1. PunkTiger

      Solar colours

      Well, I guess you'd have to think like an astronomer. Star colour is an indication of its overall temperature. A red star like Antares is cooler in temperature than a yellow star like good ol' Sol, which is cooler than a blue star like Rigel. The further away from red in the visible spectrum, the hotter the star.

      I presume that's why the picture has the hot spots in blue and the cooler spots in red.

      I've always loved astronomy. :D

    2. Disco-Legend-Zeke


      ...they spectrum order is preserved, red big photons, blue little, higher energy photons.

    3. Pablo

      Roy G. Biv

      Probably because blue IS "hotter" than red. Being scientifically minded folks, NASA apparently choose to use blue for the higher frequency UV and red for the lower frequency UV. It agree it's a little counter-intuitive, but in terms of the spectrum standpoint it makes sense.

    4. Demosthenese


      Because hotter bodies give of shorter wavelength light (bluer), cooler bodies give off longer wavelength light (redder).

      google for black body radiation.

      1. Martin Erdelen


        I stand educated.

        Now, how to change the colour markers on the water taps...

    5. sandman

      More sentient suns

      Whipping Star - Frank Herbert

      Drinking Midnight Wine - Simon R Green (the Serpent in the Sun)

    6. gizmo23

      Wavelength of light

      It's because in light wavelengths red has less energy per photon than blue and temperature is a measure of energy density so hot stuff is blue and cooler stuff is red.

    7. Graham Marsden

      Solaris... well.

  5. SpoodyGoon



  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid 'merkins

    Everyone knows red= hot blue=cold. Why differ from convention?

  7. Llanfair

    Shouldn't that be....

    "full-disk multiwavelength extreme ultraviolent image", captured on 30 March?

    Joking aside, the photos are stunning, although I do wish they used png for the images.

    1. Nuno

      not so stupid

      the sun is a ball of fire. The hotter flames are blue/white, the colder ones are red/orange. As with any fire...

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Stupid AC

      Scientists know that red light is low energy, and blue is high energy. If you heat something up it will first glow red, as it gets hotter it will shift towards blue. They are scientists not interior decorators...

      Ok, who came up with the conversion... about 60,000 Kelvin, or 107,540 F?

      It's ABOUT 60,000 (I expect the original said 6x10^4) you can only say something like ABOUT 100,000 as you don't know the temp to the nearest 10 degrees.

    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      It IS Convention

      AC is a fool. 'Nuff said.

  8. LuMan

    Quantity definitions!!

    So, 1.5TB equals 500,000 MP3s. Looks to me like NASA are trying to take on El Reg with their quantity definitions. Time to stamp this out, I say!

    In which case, what would 1,799,540 F translate to? Slough pub lager temperature? 3 times Paris' crotch temp?? 14 unpronouncable volcano outputs???

    We need help, Reg!!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Simply awesome.

  10. loopy lou

    Fahrenheit, still?

    Great to see NASA giving us temperatuers in Fahrenheit and dutifully converting "about a million kelvin" to 1,799,540 F. Six significant figures eh?

    A little gem from Wikipedia about Dan Fahrenheit. Zero was the temperature of some mixture of salt and stuff. The other reference point was 96 "the level of the liquid in the thermometer when held in the mouth or under the armpit of his wife". Cool.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Nasa and SI units

      I'm not surprised by NASAs non-use of SI units. They probably actually internally used Fahrenheit and converted to Kelvin (6 sig figs becoming approximately 1) purely so that scientists might understand it. I see that they also measure data size using the uncventional "MP3 download" unit.!

      Given these conversions, I'm surprised that the picture didn't miss the sun all together, just like Mars...

      Maybe the problems with the constellation program were also caused because SI were not used, unlike Apollo ?

      (Tounge firmly in cheek)

  11. Melvin Meatballs

    Truly Amazing

    It's images such as these that make being an atheist so easy.

    The sheer power and beauty of nature, captured with big, shiny toys produced by a group of long-evolved globules of primordial soup.

    Beleiving in supernatural beings is just lazy and unimaginitive in comparison.

    1. James Woods


      What times the doors close down at the nuthouse?

      Take a look at how far we have came in only 100 years. Your ancestors sitting in caves (sorry if you still live in one) could never of imagined we'd all be sitting here having a latte looking at pictures from Nasa.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      So, given a stunning image to contemplate and the prospect of some serious science in the near future all you can think about is the joy of atheism. Boring.

    3. Winkypop Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Well said that man

      well said.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      But obviously

      But obviously something as great as the sun must be the work of the flying spaghetti monstor.

      As for what intelligence created the flying speghetti monstor - that's simple, the spaghetti just tangled itself up like always happens :)

  12. Kevin (Just Kevin)


    So, where on this planet do the Na'vi live?

  13. Chris 244

    Red vs Blue @AC "Stupid Merkins"

    Red stars are cool, blue stars are hot. Red flames are cool, blue flames are hot. A lower Kelvin setting on your TV or on a light bulb gives a red tint, a higher K is a blue tint.

    Look up "black body radiation". Or maybe take a grade-school level physics class.

    Crazy picture. Even better will be the neutrino-based images we'll hopefully have soon of the sun. Everything we've seen so far has only been of the surface, but neutrino-detectors will allow us to image the core.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Neutrino Detection

      I thought we can still only just manage to detect the things, much less "focus" on their point of origin. Or do you not mean "image" in the human sense? Either way, that would be tremendously exciting if true.

      1. Chris 244
        Thumb Up

        Solar Imaging with Neutrinos @Sorry

        It has begun.

  14. Billy Whiz

    By my calculations....

    that's a sustained data of about 1.4 Mbps (... data back to Earth at the rate of 1.5 terabytes per day).

    Pretty good considering they're 150 million km from their local exchange. Wonder who their ISP is?

    1. Graham Marsden

      Wonder who their ISP is?

      And will they start throttling the bit-stream...?

  15. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Amazing, yes, but...

    "Beleiving in supernatural beings is just lazy and unimaginitive "

    Well, only if your imagination does not stretch beyond an old bearded man in a turban sitting on a cloud with a drawing board, designing each new species of animals by hand.

    However, none of your globules would have ever evolved nor there would be anything like the star we are looking at without the laws of nature. But who came up with these laws? Imagine that...

  16. serviceWithASmile

    so which anal twat is it

    that keeps thumbing down posts that aren't really thumbdown material?

    the pic is awesome. red being hotter than blue and green DOES make sense.

    if you are religious THATS OK, if someone ridicules it grow a pair and stand up for yourself.

    downthumbing is equal to passive aggressive notes on my windscreen pointing out that my car is parked next to some other cars and my neighbour has apparently parked there all his life and really doesn't appreciate my car either existing or being parked on my street, you young ppl with your rock music etc etc.

    oh and i thought the post about the sun being sentient was a little funny, not WRONG unlike the phantom anal downthumber seems to think.

    if you don't like this post, why don't you thumb it down? that'll really show me. then I'll be sorry.


    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      I "thumbed you down"

      Hope you don't mind.

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