Unprecedented: the largest solar telescope has made the first pictures

The system has entered the world’s largest astronomical instrument for studying the Sun. This solar telescope named Daniel K. Inouye (Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, DKIST). He recently took his first pictures of the solar surface. This is the most detailed pictures of our stars that have ever been to. And this is only the beginning. Thanks DKIST we can for a few years to learn about our bodies more than in the previous century, scientists say.

What we don’t know about the Sun

Eugene Parker, the discoverer of solar wind, once said: “About the Sun we know so much to understand how little we know.” Decades this phrase has not lost its relevance. The Orb is still full of mysteries. Scholars debate what forces heat the corona, acceleration of solar wind and determine its structure. Unclear the nature of the 11-year solar activity cycle, which also regularly gives astronomers surprises. Yet to understand why the star is churning the coronal mass ejections (huge clouds of plasma) and how it relates to solar flares. The list of examples could go on for a very long time.

Researchers are not only driven by scientific interest but also practical. The above mentioned emissions regularly reach the Earth. Because of this there are magnetic storms and disruptions of radio communications. It is this failure in 2017 at eight o’clock left without communication of rescuers in the time when hurricane “Irma” hit the coast of the United States. In addition, coronal mass ejections can damage space equipment and to create an increased risk to the health of astronauts.

meanwhile, experts still can’t predict when the Sun will once again decide to “spit” in the direction of our planet. The plasma cloud reaches the Earth a day or two, but today we are able to detect the emission of only a few hours before he will fall upon the earth.

the Tool has a record for solar telescopes dimensions.Photo DKIST/NSO.

Telescope, which has been never

Scientific curiosity and practical considerations are pushing researchers to learn about our sun as much as possible. And here DKIST will provide humanity with invaluable assistance.

“solar telescope “Inoue” during the first five years of its existence, will gather more information about the Sun than all data collected since Galileo first turned his telescope to the Sun in 1612,” says David Bobolz (David Boboltz), program Director Division of astronomical Sciences National science Foundation that funded the construction.

the diameter of the mirror of the instrument is four meters. This is a record for solar telescopes, and obshestvennym standards is a serious figure. And it was the size of a mirror determines how much fine detail you can see in the pictures. Besides equipped with modern DKIST adaptive optics for compensating atmospheric distortions. It is important that the tool is in Hawaii with their clean air and plenty of Sunny days. Finally, it was built at an altitude of three kilometers.

Separate the pride of the engineers – cooling system. After all, collect a huge telescope sunlight is 13 kilowatts of heat, which is necessary to protect sophisticated equipment.

Design and construction of the telescope took more than 20 years, so that astronomers have long expected holiday. The next six months will be spent on tests and final entry tool in operation. Then, according to the experts, there’s a real fireworks of discoveries.

By the way, before “News.Science” wrote about what the secrets of the Sun revealed the probe had approached him a record close.

Text: To.Science