Best ever view of sunspots

In May 2002, the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope started operation with its full aperture. During the first few months of operation we collected many solar images with unprecedented spatial resolution, estimated to approximately 90 km.

Some of these show inner structure, a dark core, in the hitherto unresolved filaments in sunspot penumbrae.


Dark-cored filaments – an unexpected discovery

The dark-cored filaments were an unexpected discovery, that we have published as a Letter in Nature:

Dark cores in sunspot penumbral filaments by Göran B. Scharmer, Boris V. Gudiksen, Dan Kiselman, Mats G. Löfdahl, and Luc H. M. Rouppe van der Voort, 14 November 2002.

We also have a movie in quicktime and mpeg formats, that shows how the same field of view develops during half an hour of observations. (The mpeg movie is B/W and has lower quality. On the other hand, we know the quicktime movie does not work everywhere. The best way to make it work is to download it to the local computer, start the appropriate viewer program and open the quicktime file from there.)

Movie in quicktime format

Movie in mpeg format

The images may be published if you give credit to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


Images and movies from the Nature article data set

If you need these images for professional publishing, please go to the image and movie download page, where they are available in a number of different formats and sizes.

Image and movie download page


Background information

There is more background information, mainly for journalists:

Information for press and other media

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