The Sun in Extreme Ultraviolet Light

Sun at
19.5 nm - Loading Live Images - Please be patient. Sun at
30.4 nm - Loading Live Images - Please be patient.

19.5 nanometers

30.4 nanometers

Longer Waves

Two images are shown here: one that is made from light with a wavelength of 19.5 nanometers, and one from light with a wavelength of 30.4 nanometers (nm). These are in the realm of the Extreme UltraViolet (EUV). The 30.4-nm picture shows a portion of the layer of the Sun's atmosphere known as the chromosphere. The 19.5-nm picture shows a part of the chromosphere higher up than what is seen in the 30.4-nm picture: actually the lower part of the corona which is seen in the X-ray picture. Most of the 19.5-nm light comes from "active regions", where we can sometimes see loops. In the 30.4-nm image we can sometimes see large prominences rising high above the surface of the Sun. At the north and south poles of the Sun, less EUV light is emitted -- these regions often end up looking dark in the pictures, giving rise to the term "coronal holes." The darkness of these polar regions can sometimes also be seen in images made with X-rays. If you do not see these features in the images above, check back in a few days to see how the Sun's appearance has changed.

These images come from the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT), an instrument on the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). SOHO is a spacecraft orbiting a million miles above the Earth, at the point where the Earth's and the Sun's gravity cancel each other out.

Waves Longer

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