Pictures of the Sun
The Sun, our source of light and life, impossible to see with the naked eye, a joyous wonder during eclipses. In India the sun is known as ‘Surya’ and its worshiped, the common mode of paying respect to the sun is through Sūrya Namaskāra, the sacred salutation to the sun in yoga, for sustaining life.
Well lets move on to what the sun looks like through a collection of lovely pictures, lets start off with this image on the left of the solar eclipse taken from Palem, India, by a research team from the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The next picture is of an active solar region taken on July 24, 2002 near the eastern limb of the Sun, it highlights the three-dimensional nature of the photosphere when seen at these large angles. The structures in the dark sunspots in the upper central area of the image show distinct elevation above the dark floor of the sunspot. The height of the structures has been estimated by Dr Bruce Lites of the High Altitude Observatory to be between 200 and 450 km. The smallest resolvable features in the image are about 70 km in size. There are also numerous bright faculae visible on the edges of granules that face towards the observer
The next image looks as if the earth is emitting fumes, its the corona of a moderately active Sun, with some hot active regions in red, surrounded by the blue/green cooler plasma of the quiet-Sun corona.
This image taken on 8 January 2002, shows a widely spreading coronal mass ejection (CME) as it blasts more than a billion tons of matter out into space at millions of kilometers per hour.
A sweeping prominence, a huge cloud of relatively cool dense plasma is seen suspended in the Sun’s hot, thin corona. Every feature in the image traces magnetic field structure. The hottest areas appear almost white, while the darker red areas indicate cooler temperatures
Solar flares come down all the way to earth to give us the spectacular northern lights, heres a massive solar flare on 13 December 2006. It was one of the largest flares occurring in that period of solar activity minimum.
During the course of the article you read about solar activity, perhaps you would be interested in Solar Cycle 24 which is whats happening with the sun right now.
Thanks to Boston for the pictures and information on the sun, another interesting article is the top 10 strangest things in space, where you will come across things like Galactic Cannibalism.
Galaxies can eat each other and evolve over time, our galaxy the Milky Way, whose neighbor, Andromeda, is currently dining on one of its satellites. More than a dozen star clusters are scattered throughout Andromeda, the cosmic remains of past meals.
The image is from a simulation of Andromeda and our galaxy colliding, an event that will take place in about 3 billion years, so theres nothing to worry about at the moment.