Cycle of the Sun
|Updated June 01, 2013
The easy observation of sunspots reveals not only the sun's rotation on itself, to equator, is in 27 days, but that the activity of hot and cold zones of the Sun follow a cycle.
These spots can reach dimensions of tens of thousands of km.
Image: The Ulysses probe was launched October 6, 1990 by Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission was terminated June 30, 2009 following the deterioration of the energy source of the probe. This ship of 370 kg, was the first and only fly to the Sun's poles to study the heliosphere, the vast bubble around our star. Designed for a period of 5 years, longevity has been exceptional, a record of 6822 days of operation (18 years 246 days).
Sun seen by Ulysses in the 1990s
Ci-cons, the measures taken by the Ulysses probe, the temperature of the north and south poles of the Sun in thousands of Kelvin. The extension of the mission was decided because of peak solar activity, the poles were again flown in 2000 and 2001, the period of maximum activity. The last flights were made between November 2006 and April 2007 (South Pole) and between November 2007 and March 2008 (South Pole).
Image: Temperatures of the polar coronal holes of the Sun measured by Ulysses.
Sun seen by SOHO in the 2000s
Our center is powered by thermonuclear fusion reactions that turn in its core at a temperature of 15 million degrees, hydrogen into helium, from 4.57 billion years.
The SOHO mission was to study the Sun's internal structure, its warm atmosphere, the origins of the solar wind. In operation since February 1996, the mission is still running remarkably in 2010. SOHO operates on a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point L1.
Image: These 4 images offered by the Soho space satellite, shows the daily evolution of sunspot groups observed between 8 and 10 February 2010. Credits: Nasa
Sun seen by SDO, in the 2010s
SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory), is the newest solar observatory, which has since replaced SoHo.
A solar prominence is a cloud of gas ejected from the solar surface, supported by a loop of the magnetic field of our star. Although very hot, prominences are slightly colder than the surface.
Video: The observation of fluctuations in solar activity will allow to know its influence on the Earth's climate. This accelerated video, shows a solar flare that lasted 1:30, which is here, an image every 24 seconds.