Image Credit & Copyright: Paul Stewart.
Here’s a world class view of our home star, the Sun by Paul Stewart of Timaru, New Zealand.
Just have a long look at this image and take pause in what you’re looking at. Of everything in the solar system; the planets, asteroids, comets, even us; this 1,392,684 km diameter spherical thermo-nuclear fusion reactor makes up 99% of the total mass of the solar system. Much of the rest of that last percent is Jupiter. Nearly 1,000,000 spherical Earth’s could fit into the Sun and if Earth were water and the Sun were a bowl, thus eliminating the open space left by the spherical Earths, you could pour 1,300,000 Earths into the Sun.
Just that filament alone stretching across the disk of the Sun in this image radiating out toward the ten o’clock position is roughly 400,000 km long and the prominences along the outer edges of the disk are many times the height of Earth. Solar observing is a favorite of mine as each time you observe it there are always changes. Not to mention the facts and figures that accompany it are never short of staggering.
Thanks so much to Paul for giving us these images and I hope you check out the rest of his work as it’s equally impressive. Incredible detail, incredible quality and any time that I’ve ever had a question he’s been more than willing to help straighten me out.
Paul Stewart: http://upsidedownastronomer.wordpress.com/
Google Plus: http://plus.google.com/+PaulStewartNZ