|Up close, the solar surface is a striking patch work of
granules in this very high resolution picture of the
Caused by convection, the granules are hot, rising
columns of plasma
edged by dark lanes of cooler, descending plasma.
But the high-resolution view reveals that the dark lanes are
dotted with many small, contrasting bright points.
on the solar surface, the bright points do not seem
to be related to sunspots that come and go with the
magnetic solar cycle.
Nonetheless, the bright points are regions of
concentrated magnetic fields and are bright because the
magnetic pressure opens a window to hotter deeper
layers below the photosphere.
For scale, the white bar at the lower left corresponds to 5,000
kilometers across the Sun's surface.
The sharp, narrow-band image was recorded in September, 2007 using the
Swedish Solar Telescope on the
astronomical island of La Palma.
J. Sanchez Almeida (IAC), et al.