The Visible Sun Revisited

  • Released Saturday, April 1st, 2006
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:55PM
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Scientists working with the SOHO/MDI instrument have continued to improve on previous results. Since the first release (SOHO/MDI's 'Window' Through the Sun), improvements in helioseismology techniques have enabled them to extract more information from the same data. In this case, sonogram-type imaging of the solar far side (the side of the Sun NOT facing the Earth) has been improved to provide a more complete view of the farside. This is important in space weather forecasting as it enables us to see large sunspots and active regions before they are visible directly from the Earth. Active regions are a source of solar flares which can send high-energy protons towards the Earth. These protons can damage satellite electronics, endangering communications and weather forecasting, and are a health threat to astronauts.

The leading spot group has moved around the limb and is now visible from the Earth.  The trailing spot group is still approaching the limb (November 16, 2003 17UT).

The leading spot group has moved around the limb and is now visible from the Earth. The trailing spot group is still approaching the limb (November 16, 2003 17UT).



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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio


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