The Sun - May 17, 2013

The Sun - May 17, 2013

This image of the Sun was taken at the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory on May 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM with a hydrogen-alpha telescope.

Sunspot and plages cover the disk. Sunspots are cooler areas on the Sun’s surface due to magnetic activity trapping hot gas below the surface. Plages are bright clouds in the atmosphere of the Sun that tend to form near sunspots.  Along the edge several bright loops called prominences stand out against the dark background of space.

Compare this view of the Sun to the view two days earlier. The images were prepared with different colors and contrast. Some of the same sunspots and features may appear in both images. The Sun rotates once per month.

Telescope: Lunt 100mm hydrogen- alpha

Camera: Lumenera SKYnyx 2-2M

  • Catalog Number: WEB13113-2013
  • Credit: Image by Shauna Edson and Kaitlin Evans, Smithsonian Public Observatory Project
  • For print or commercial use please see our permissions page.
  • Large JPEG (1600 x 1200 pixels)