A new telescope in Hawaii called the Daniel K. Inouye telescope has taken the highest-resolution-ever image of the surface of the sun. The photo reveals the boiling surface, and the mesmerizing pattern looks like popcorn. Fusion reactions—individual hydrogen nuclei smashing together and creating helium—happen nearly every second in the core of the sun, and the material they produce then travels up to the surface over the course of ten thousand years. So the plasma we see in this photo has already had quite the journey. Research on the sun will help scientists understand the complex nature of solar weather, which brings us lovely aurora, but can also wreak havoc on our satellites and electrical grid. Grab your sunglasses and maybe some popped snacks and get ready for this week’s epic journey to the sun.
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