Scientists have received new images with the help of the ALMA telescope: it made it possible to discover new interesting details that previously could not be discerned.
One important element in the pictures was a sunspot whose dimensions are twice the diameter of the planet Earth. Specialists were able to consider in detail its structure.
New photos are the first of their kind photographs, which greatly expand the capabilities of science at the moment. The telescope catchers were pre-designed in such a way that when considering the Sun, the possibility of damaging them with heat rays was minimized.
Scientists have used the giant lattice antenna of the telescope to fix in the minimum possible range of the emitted spectrum of the solar chromosphere - a zone located in the immediate vicinity of the photosphere, which forms the visible solar surface.
A group of international experts representing European countries, the United States and East Asia, pointed to the enormous potential of the new telescope in the subject of research on the activity of the Sun on waves of great length, which it was impossible to do earlier. Ground-based research observatories could determine solar activity only on shortwaves.
For hundreds of years, scientists have tried to learn as much as possible about the earth's "luminary," and studied any visible changes on its surface. However, for a sufficient understanding of the physical characteristics of the Sun, it is necessary to examine it over the entire length of the electromagnetic radiation, including the millimeter and submillimeter ranges. Such research has become possible with the new ALMA telescope.
ALMA catchers can build detailed images of the solar surface using radiointerferometry, without being damaged by high temperatures of focused solar radiation. As a result, scientists received a number of very important for science images, which will be published shortly for further study and consideration.
The main object of study in this case was a large sunspot, which is investigated in two frequencies of ALMA catchers. The photographs obtained made it possible to record the temperature differences in different parts of the solar chromosphere.
As a rule, spots on the Sun are temporary elements that are formed in zones of increased concentration and increase of the magnetic field. The temperature in them is slightly lower than around the spots, and therefore the illusion of the "spot" actually arises.
The obtained images clearly show the differences in temperature, which posed many new questions for scientists.
The ALMA telescope is the first observatory of the European Space Research Organization, which allows full study of the solar surface. Any other tools that were used before, or are currently in use, require serious modifications in the field of protection from thermal damage that occur due to overheating.
Given the new capabilities of ALMA, the organization of space research will be able to progress in the issues of solar research.