NASA's newest solar observatory sees the sun in unprecedented detail.
On June 27, 2013, NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, launched into space to study the mysterious lowest layers of the sun’s atmosphere. These layers make up what's called the interface region, an area where solar material is constantly writhing and exploding. The spacecraft is designed to take high-resolution images of the interface region in unprecedented detail. Such images will help scientists see how energy traveling through the region heats the sun's upper atmosphere to temperatures a thousand times hotter than the surface. Initial observations show the region is much more violent than previously understood, and contains a multitude of thin, fibril-like structures that have never before been seen. Watch the video for close-up views of the sun captured by IRIS.
Please give credit for this item to: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Cover image courtesy of NASA/IRIS Video courtesy of NASA/GSFC/LMSAL/IRIS Sun images courtesy of NASA/SDO/IRIS Spacecraft image courtesy of Lockheed Martin
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