We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

The Psychedelic Sun

ImaGeo iconImaGeo
By Tom Yulsman
Jun 29, 2014 9:32 AMNov 20, 2019 4:16 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

The Sun, as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. (Source: Alzate/SDO) It may look like something right out of the Joshua Light Show circa 1969, but it's actually a real image of the Sun, as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft in January of 2013. The image shows the Sun in three wavelengths of light. Each has been colorized either red, green or blue. And while the result seems downright psychedelic (especially to a Boomer like me who is old enough to know what the Joshua Light Show is), this processing reveals the fine details of roiling, magnetized, super-hot solar plasma. This processing technique has allowed scientists to tease out details of a series of jets and flares that spewed plasma and radiation into space, culminating in a much more massive blast of solar material. You can find all the scientific details here. But before you go, make sure to enlarge the image above by clicking on it, and linger on the details. You might find it mesmerizing. Maybe even a little like this. (Yes, that's the Joshua Light Show in the background...)

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.