Space: Super HD pictures of the Sun reveal magnetic threads

Last updated at 12:58
close-up-picture-of-the-sun.NASA Marshall Space Flight Centre/uclan

These incredible new pictures give us our best ever look at the Sun.

The images were captured by Nasa's Hi-C camera and analysed by researchers at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Nasa's Marshall Space Flight Centre.

The pictures have revealed that the Sun's outer layer is covered in incredibly fine magnetic threads filled with extremely hot, million-degree plasma - a very special, very hot form of gas.

"This is a fascinating discovery that could better inform our understanding of the flow of energy through the layers of the Sun and eventually down to Earth itself." said Dr Tom Williams, a researcher at UCLan who worked on the data.

close-up-picture-of-the-sun.NASA Marshall Space Flight Centre/Uclan

In the past scientists had only been able to research low-quality pictures of our Sun, which had large dark, empty patches.

With this new camera, able to withstand extreme temperatures, scientists are getting their first clear pictures of the Sun, and are discovering new things about it, like the super-hot strands filled with electrified gasses.

"Think of it like this: if you are watching a football match on television in standard definition, the football pitch looks green and uniform. Watch the same game in ultra-HD and the individual blades of grass can jump out at you - and that's what we're able to see with the Hi-C images" said Professor Robert Walsh, professor of solar physics at UCLan and institutional lead for the Hi-C team.

The team of international researchers are planning to launch the Hi-C rocket mission again, to join NASA's Parker Solar Probe and ESA's Solar Orbiter which are currently collecting data.

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