The European Southern Observatory (ESO) reports that the observation of our luminary has begun on the Alma telescope in Chile.
Alma — Atamskaya Big Millimeter/Submilimeter Grate. This is a joint project of ESO, the National Scientific Fund of the United States and the National Institute of Natural Sciences of Japan NINS in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.
It should be noted that Alma — This is the first ESO observatory, the equipment of which allows you to explore the sun. Typically, objects are observed on Alma, the visible brightness of which is many millions of times less than that of our luminaries. Therefore, it was necessary to specially adapt the antennas of the observatory to build detailed images of the Sun by the method of radio interferometry, without getting damage from heating with focused sunlight.
As a result, a series of images was obtained that demonstrated the unique potential of Alma for the research of the sun. In particular, the pictures taken revealed details on the surface of the sun, which cannot be recorded with other tools, including the structure of the dark deformed central part of the solar spot, about twice as much as the diameter of the Earth.
Solar spots are temporary formations that appear in areas of increased concentration and intensity of the magnetic field of the sun. Their temperature is slightly lower than the temperature of their environment, which is why they seem dark.