Viewing the Sun through different eyes
Much like the Earth, the Sun has many different layers that define its
structure. Unlike the Earth, the
Sun is completely gaseous; there is no solid surface on the Sun. Although
the Sun is completely made
of gas, the density and temperature of the gas changes drastically as you
travel from the outermost regions to the center.
Scientists look at different layers of the Sun by using
telescopes with different filters. The filter wheel on board the
Yohkoh solar telescope is much like the filter wheel you constructed
earlier in this lesson. By rotating one wheel with a window the
telescope operators are able to select the type of filter they want to use
to view the Sun. These solar filters can sort out many kinds of
radiation, not just colored light.
In the image below you can see the filter wheel is located near the back
of the soft x-ray telescope on board the Yohkoh satellite.
Our Sun emits radiation in almost every wavelength. In addition to
the visible light we can detect with our eyes, the Sun also emits
radio waves, infrared and ultraviolet radiation as well as x-rays and
gamma rays. Lucky for us we can focus in on a specific layer of the Sun by
using a filter to remove all but one type of radiation.
Let's look at the sun as seen through many
Why Use Filters?
The Filtered Sun