Way back in 2013, NASA launched the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph probe in order to keep an eye on the sun and it’s revealed secrets thus far unknown by astronomers and scientists.
A recent report conducted by several astronomers and researchers stated that, they have been finding no end of interesting things about the star at the center of our solar system. One of the most interesting discoveries so far includes incidents dubbed as “nano-flares”. Nano-flares are the tiny solar flares that could be contributing to the intense heat of the sun’s corona. Besides nano-flares, the researchers have also discovered the phenomena such as high-power jets of plasma, which seems to be the mechanism behind solar wind and so-called “plasma bombs” on the surface of the sun.
When it comes to the IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) probe, it’s a highly advanced satellite, which has the ability to observe and detect spectrographic differences near and inside the sun at resolutions that were certainly unknown before its development. IRIS does this all from the relative safety of its orbit above the Earth, 93 million miles away from the sun and its devastating temperatures. Even the outer atmosphere of our home star reaches a sweltering 3.5 million degrees Fahrenheit, obliging long-distance study.
According to the Max Planck Institute’s Hardi Peter, Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph probe is believed to be the perfect equipment for long-distance examination as of its specialized instruments. The resolution IRIS provides is easily 3 to 4 times sharper than any of its predecessors, he added.
As per the topography of the sun and its atmosphere instigates at the photosphere that is the actual surface of the star and what humans can actually see without the help of spectrographic analysis. On top of the photosphere is the chromospheres that are in fact hotter than the surface and then the corona. These regions give out ultraviolet light, a wavelength that is invisible to the human eye. Observing this light from space is necessary; the majority of these UV rays are absorbed by the Earth’s upper atmosphere. In other words, it’s simply impossible to observe these wavelengths from the surface of the Earth, even with advanced spectrographic sensors or else, you need to be placed solar observation satellites such as IRIS in orbit to get a clear view.