(Click the image to solarize.)
Here’s a place we haven’t gone before: right to the surface of the Sun. From the Astronomy Photo of the Day:
This stunning image shows remarkable details of a dark sunspot across the image bottom and numerous boiling granules which appear like kernels of corn across the top. Taken in 2002, the picture was made using the Swedish Solar Telescope operating on the Canary Island of La Palma. The high resolution image was achieved using sophisticated adaptive optics, digital image stacking, and other processing techniques to counter the blurring effect of Earth’s atmosphere.
Stunning, indeed. The original image has tickmarks for scale, showing that the sunspot — which is only one of a large group — is around 16,000 kilometers wide at the base of the image. For a bit of perspective, the Earth’s diameter is roughly 12,750 kilometers at the equator. It would fit inside this sunspot with plenty of room to spare.
For another bit of perspective, this image of the whole Sun was taken on the same day and shows the sunspot group in its entirety.
Well, I feel small.