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Active Sun in 3-D
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Active Sun in 3-D

June 28, 2012
If you ever wanted to see an active Sun with lots of sunspots and wonderful active regions in exquisite detail, then your wait is over. We took pairs of high-resolution images from Dec. 4, 2011 about eight hours apart and with some image software magic transformed them into 3-D. The Sun appears rounded and the loops above active regions clearly stand out above the Sun's surface. Of course, you need 3-D glasses to get the effect. The movie starts with the sunspot image, fades into the extreme ultraviolet image (in the AIA 171 wavelength of light), and then back again several times. To create the 3-D effect, we selected an initial image, then a second image about 10 hours later. The rotation of the Sun creates sufficient perspective difference to convert the pair into 3-D. Note how the magnetically intense sunspots at the surface match up precisely with loops of magnetic field lines (viewed in UV light) arcing above them. If you need 3D glasses, here are some possible resources: nasa.gov/3D_Glasses.html


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