Multi-wavelength observations of sunspots with the 1.6-meter telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) in California and aboard NASA´s IRIS spacecraft have produced new and intriguing images  of high-speed plasma flows and eruptions extending from the Sun’s surface to the outermost layer of the solar atmosphere, the corona. Operated by New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), BBSO houses the largest ground-based telescope dedicated to solar research.

The high-definition video acquired at BBSO provides unique 3D views of a sunspot revealing rapidily rotating plasma rolls, powerful shocks and widespread plasma eruptions driven by solar-energy flux and controlled by intense magnetic fields.

These leading-edge observations show that sunspots are by far more complex and dynamic than previously thought.

Discovering hidden sources

of solar surges

Solving Sunspot


Cutting-edge observations with the 1.6-meter  telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) in California have taken research into the structure and activity of the Sun to new levels of understanding. A group of astronomers led by Dr. Santiago Vargas Domínguez have analyzed the highest-resolution solar observations ever made. The NJIT researches reported on the emergence of buoyant “small-scale” magnetic-flux ropes on the solar surface and the initiation of powerful plasma eruptions in the solar atmosphere.

The observations were performed as part of a program conducted jointly with NASA´s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission, Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and Hinode satellite. These observations provided a unique view of a magnetic flux rope in the Sun´s surface-granulation pattern that was 6,000 miles long, and the interaction between newly emergent and overlying ambient magnetic fields.

Info and VideosPress1.html
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Big Bear Solar Observatory

Press Releases at the AAS Meeting

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Solving Sunspots MysteriesPress1.htmlPress1.htmlshapeimage_10_link_0
Hidden Sources of Solar SurgesPress2.htmlPress2.htmlshapeimage_14_link_0

By: Alexander Kosovichev

By: Santiago Vargas Domínguez

Vasyl Yurchyshyn, Santiago Vargas Domínguez

Alexander Kosovichev, Vasyl Yurchyshyn