May 24th, 2012
12:05 PM ET

Enhanced video shows beautiful detail on sun

You know how, as a kid, you were always warned not to look directly at the sun? Thanks to videos like this, you don’t have to.

The entire video, on the NASA website, covers 24 hours of solar activity back on September 25, 2011, in about 2 minutes, 45 seconds.

The colors appear blue and gold because additional processing was added to enhance the details.

There’s no scientific value to the processing, it just looks cool!

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Filed under: the Sun
New German telescope stares at the sun
May 24th, 2012
10:18 AM ET

New German telescope stares at the sun

A consortium of German scientists unveiled this week Europe’s largest solar telescope, which will give mankind its clearest images of the sun to date.

The telescope, given the appropriately Teutonic name Gregor, is a powerful contraption capable of staring directly into the nearby gas giant.

Until now, scientists were unable to point conventional telescopes at the sun for very long without the mirrors overheating and distorting the image.

But Gregor, built from a sturdy lithium aluminosilicate glass-ceramic, employs reflective surfaces made out of silicon carbide, a material that does not warp under the heat of the sun.

In addition, the telescope, located atop a volcano in the Canary Islands, also boasts a completely open structure, allowing cool ocean breezes to pass through it and further reduce its overall temperature.
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