NSF’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is key to gaining a better understanding our nearest star
Friday, 31 January, 2020, 00:10
In March 1989, astronomers could only watch as a vast cloud of electrically charged particles and magnetic fields erupted from the sun, eventually slamming into Earth’s magnetic fields. Satellites in orbit went silent, or worse yet, lost control, as high-energy particles from the “solar storm” blasted their electronics. On Earth, the intense magnetic field caused the entire power grid of the Canadian province of Quebec to go offline for nine hours, trapping people in elevators, plunging office towers into darkness and closing the airport.That was more than three decades ago, and yet the sun – our nearest star – remains as mysterious and chaotic as ever.As these recently unveiled first images demonstrate however, NSF’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is about to usher in a new era of solar science and deepen our understanding of the sun and its impacts on our planet.
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