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Nature14 November 2002

 nature highlights

Solar physics: Spot check

The 1-metre solar telescope at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' observatory on the Canary Island of La Palma, installed in spring of this year, is providing astronomers with images of sunspots showing unprecedented detail. The latest images (available in movie form as Supplementary Information via the Nature web site) reveal previously unknown fine structure in the form of long, thin dark cores within the bright filaments of the sunspot penumbra, or outer region. Here, fundamental physical processes are occurring in the solar photosphere on scales of less than 100 km–a challenging phenomenon for theoreticians to tussle with.

letters to nature
Dark cores in sunspot penumbral filaments
G�RAN B. SCHARMER, BORIS V. GUDIKSEN, DAN KISELMAN, MATS G. L�FDAHL & LUC H. M. ROUPPE VAN DER VOORT
Nature 420, 151–153 (2002); doi:10.1038/nature01173
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news and views
Solar physics: The Sun under a microscope
JOHN H. THOMAS
Fine details of the filamentary structure of sunspots are revealed in new observations. These high-resolution measurements herald the quality of data to be expected from a new generation of solar telescopes.
Nature 420, 134–135 (2002); doi:10.1038/420134a
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14 November 2002 table of contents

  
  © 2002 Nature Publishing Group