New photos showing the sun in unprecedented detail have been taken by GREGOR, a European solar telescope. With the latest upgrades to the telescope, located at an observatory in Spain, it can capture features on the sun as small as 30 miles across. That amounts to quite a close up for an object that is some 865,000 miles in diameter!
"In only one year we completely redesigned the optics, mechanics, and electronics to achieve the best possible image quality,” said Dr. Lucia Kleint, the lead researcher. GREGOR's improved optics will be a boon for scientists studying such things as magnetic fields, solar eruptions, plasma, and sunspots in great detail, especially as our star may be entering a more active cycle. Pictured is a sunspot observed in high resolution (view in animated form). More details here.