Friday, June 18, 2004

Venus and the Chromosphere

Check out this image from the Astronomy Picture of the Day Blog!

See Explanation. Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.
Venus and the Chromosphere
Credit & Copyright: Stefan Seip

Explanation: Enjoying the 2004 Transit of Venus from Stuttgart, Germany, astronomer Stefan Seip recorded this fascinating, detailed image of the Sun. Revealing a network of cells and dark filaments against a bright solar disk with spicules and prominences along the Sun's limb, his telescopic picture was taken through an H-alpha filter. The filter narrowly transmits only the red light from hydrogen atoms and emphasizes the solar chromosphere -- the region of the Sun's atmosphere immediately above its photosphere or normally visible surface. Here, the dark disk of Venus seems to be imitating a giant sunspot that looks perhaps a little too round. But in H-alpha pictures like this one, sunspot regions are usually dominated by bright splotches (called plages) on the solar chromosphere.

[Astronomy Picture of the Day]

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