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UV spectra from the Sun

 

These images were obtained by the CDS spectrometer on the SOHO spacecraft. They show the ultraviolet light emitted by different elements, which are at different temperatures. You can see the edge of the Sun as a diagonal from the middle top of each picture down to the bottom left hand comer. The loops of material in the Sun’s atmosphere begin and end on the Sun's surface, but extend high into the solar corona.

 

Incidentally, see that white spot in the oxygen image? That shows you the size of the Earth to the same scale. The structures we see in the Sun are very large!

 

Hey, what do the letters CDS stand for?


Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer
This is an instrument (spectrometer) for studying (diagnosing) the Sun’s atmosphere (corona). Maybe it should have been the SDC?!

 

Different temperature loops of ionised gas as seen by SOHO/CDS

   
helium   oxygen   neon
 

helium
20,000°C

oxygen
250,000°C

 

neon
400,000°C

 
 
calcium   magnesium   iron

calcium
630,000°C

magnesium
1,000,000°C

 

iron
2,000,000°C

 
   

 

   
 
 

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