Last Wednesday, every location on our planet enjoyed around the same number of hours of day and night. This event, called equinox, takes place twice a year – about 20 March and then again around 23 September.
On these two occasions along the Earth's annual orbit around the sun, the sunlight shines directly above the equator. The March equinox marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and in the autumn in the southern one, and the opposite for September equinox.
The ESA / NASA SOHO sun observatory enjoys an alternative view of our star parent, staring at the sun since 1995 from a favorable position – directing the first Lagrange point (L1) about 1.5 million kilometers of view; the Earth towards the sun. Over the years, SOHO has been monitoring the superficial and stormy atmosphere of our star, as well as monitoring the solar wind, the flow of charged particles flowing out through the Solar System, enabling a wealth of scientific discoveries. .
This montage of images shows SOHO's view of the sun at different ultraviolet waves early in the morning on 20 March; the equinox happened at 21:58 GMT. From the left to the right, the images shown in this view were taken at increasing wavelengths (171 Å, 195 Å, 284 Å and 304 Å, respectively) with Ultra-violet Visualization Telescope SOHO, which takes snapshots of the sun twice a day right now.
Each wavelength channel is sensitive to solar material at a different range of temperatures, mixing at different heights to the sun's atmosphere. Left to right, the brightest material in each image corresponds to a temperature of 1 million, 1.5 million, 2 million and 60 000–80 000ºC, respectively.
SOHO's opinion was similar to the sun also seen in the Spatial Week Image of Science Week in 2017. Look at them side by side to see any differences between the sun then and today. For more information about SOHO, including real-time images of the sun, visit: https://soho.nascom.nasa.gov
Meanwhile, at the IABG facilities in Ottobrunn, Germany, a Solar Orbiter spacecraft is being tested before its launch starts next year. The new joint mission of the ESA / NASA will perform unprecedented close observations of the sun from a unique orbit that will allow scientists to study our star and its corona much more precisely than from; As well as providing high resolution images of the colorless polar regions of the sun.
Remember: never look directly at the sun!
Photo: SOHO summer sunshine