We've got a lot of eyes on our Sun. No, not yours and mine (you shouldn't be looking directly at the Sun anyway). I mean the artificial eyes on cameras in spacecraft. The newest of those spacecraft is NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which began transmitting images to Earth earlier this week. The image above ( Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO AIA Team), which shows different temperatures in false colors ( reds are relatively cool—about 60,000 Kelvin, or 107,540 Fahrenheit; blues and greens are hotter—greater than 1 million K, or 1,799,540 F), was taken on March 30 by the SDO. A compilation of the new imagery, including video of a solar prominence, can be found below.
Scientists are using spacecraft like SDO to investigate how the Sun works. Though they understand how a star produces heat and light, solar dynamics are complex and still rather mysterious. That may worry some—the Sun's activity, after all, can have a huge effect on life on Earth—but I find it pretty amazing that one of the biggest mysteries in our universe is the object around which we revolve.