"With our new generation visible imaging spectrometer (VIS)," said Wenda Cao, NJIT Associate Professor of Physics and BBSO Associate Director, "the solar atmosphere from the photosphere to the chromosphere, can be monitored in a near real time. One image was taken with VIS on May 22, 2013 in H-alpha line center. The lawn-shaped pattern illustrates ultrafine magnetic loops rooted in the photosphere below."
The most precise sunspot image ever taken is shown. With the unprecedented resolution of the Big Bear Solar Observatory's New Solar Telescope (NST), many, previously unknown, small-scale features are revealed. They include the twisting flows along the penumbra's less dark filaments, as well as the complicated dynamical motion in the light bridge vertically spanning the darkest part of the umbra, as well as the dark cores of the small bright points (umbra dots) apparent in the umbra. The telescope is currently being upgraded to include the only solar multi-conjugate adaptive optics system to fully correct atmospheric distortion over a wide field of view, as well as the only fully cryogenic solar spectrograph for probing the sun in the near infrared. Other instruments have been brought on-line since 2009, to enable the NST to probe the sun with its full scientific capability for measuring magnetic fields and dynamic events using visible and infrared light.
The other photospheric photograph is the most precise sunspot image ever taken: A textbook sunspot that looks like a daisy with many petals. The dark core of the spot is the umbra and the petals are the penumbra. "With the unprecedented resolution of BBSO's NST, many previously unknown small-scale sunspot features can now be perceived," said Cao. In particular, there are the twisting flows along the penumbra's less dark filaments, the complicated dynamic motion in the light bridge vertically spanning the umbra's darkest part and the dark cores of the small bright points or umbra dots.
BBSO has been under NJIT's management since 1997 when NJIT took over the facility from California Institute of Technology. The founder and executive director has been NJIT Distinguished Professor Philip R. Goode, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union.
Goode led the project, which was completed in 2009, to build the world's most capable solar telescope at BBSO. The new1.6 meter clear aperture, off-axis instrument is the world's largest solar aperture telescope.
The telescope is currently being upgraded to include the only solar multi-conjugate adaptive optics system with the goal being to fully correct atmospheric distortion over a wide field of view, as well as the only fully cryogenic solar spectrograph for probing the Sun in the near infrared. Other instruments have been brought on-line since 2009, to enable the NST to probe the Sun with its full scientific capability for measuring magnetic fields and dynamic events using visible and infrared light.
Cao has been the lead scientist for the development of the NST scientific instrumentation. The NST is the first facility-class solar telescope built in the U.S. in a generation, which was built and operated by BBSO/NJIT. Cao's research interests involve the design, development, implementation, and operation of facility-class astronomical instrumentation performing high-spatial resolution solar spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry to perform solar physics research in visible and infrared light.
Cao has successfully led a number of scientific instrument projects for the NST, including leading the installation of VIS, the infrared imaging magnetograph, the broad-band filter imager, the near infrared imaging spectro-polarimeter and upgrading AO-76. Success in these projects has brought unprecedented high-resolution data, which are now online and have enabled cutting-edge research. He is also co-PI on the AO-308, the cryogenic infrared spectrograph and the multi-conjugate adaptive optics projects.
Cao is the recipient of an NSF Early Career Development Award, which has allowed him and his research group to further explore the techniques of magnetic field measurement of the photosphere and chromospheres employing the infrared spectral lines. The hope is to eventually uncover the mystery of solar coronal heating.
In recent years, industry, government and scientists have begun placing increasing attention upon space weather to learn more about which solar magnetic storms can have deleterious effects on satellites, the terrestrial power grid and telecommunications.
NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls more than 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.
Sheryl Weinstein | EurekAlert!
Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University
Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences