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Current Solar Images

View Current Solar Images

SXI X-rays and NOAA Active Regions
SolarMonitor.org
Includes information on active regions and solar activity from the Global H-alpha Network, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), GONG+, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
sun picture thumbnail
Current solar images (NASA)
Current solar images and links to resources for solar imagery.
Solar Viewer Widget Image
Solar Viewer Widget
NASA's Solar Viewer allows you to see today's images of the Sun on your desktop. These near realtime images come from NASA/ESA's SOHO mission, NASA TRACE mission, and the Big Bear Observatory. Please note: You will need the Yahoo! Widget Engine for Mac or PC.
EIT solar image
Sun-Earth Viewer
This is your best resource if you wish to look at the current Sun. View, zoom on, and pan a collection of near-live solar imagery taken by SOHO, TRACE, POES, and IMAGE spacecrafts and satellites, as well as the Big Bear ground-based solar observatory. The site also includes a collection of illustrations, visualizations, and interviews relating to the Sun and solar science.
helioviewer.org logo
Helioviewer.org
Helioviewer.org is an open-source project for the visualization of solar and heliospheric data. It has an easy to use interface which allows you to zoom, superimpose image layers, set layer opacity, and search earlier images by date.
Tricolor Sun
SOHO
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft is the great solar observatory orbiting the Sun. A joint mission between NASA and ESA (the European Space Agency), SOHO's 12 instruments capture images of the Sun in a variety of "colors", from visible white light to the extreme ultraviolet. On the SOHO homepage you can find breaking news, hot shots of awesome current phenomena, a Weekly Pick image, and special features.
White Light
White Light
A current image of the Sun taken in "white," or visible, light. For reasons unknown, this image has been artificially colored orange even though light from the Sun is actually white, the "color" that results when all other colors are combined.
farside
Farside
This image shows the current "farside", or backside, of the Sun. Obviously we cannot directly see the back, but scientists who study how sound travels within the Sun can find out where there might be active magnetic regions. Thus they can locate sunspots that may be rotating into view within a few days. For information on how these images are obtained, see Magnetic Maps of the Whole Sun.
stereo image
Farside: STEREO/GONG/MDI
This page shows a side-by-side comparison between the most recent STEREO beacon image, GONG far-side map, and SOHO MDI farside map.
magnetogram
Magnetic Fields
Storms on the Sun are caused by disturbances to its complex magnetic fields. These "magnetograms," taken by the MDI instrument on SOHO, detect the strength and location of the magnetic fields on the Sun. Magnetograms show "line-of-sight" magnetic fields -- that is, those either coming directly towards us or going away from us. The black are regions of "south" magnetic polarity (inward directed, or moving toward the center of the Sun) and the white regions "north" (outward directed, moving toward us) polarity. Grey areas indicate that there is no magnetic field at all. (Any colors could have been chosen; the grey-black-white is just a common convention, or choice.) For more information about magnetograms, see The Sun -- a Magnetic Star".
synoptic
Synoptic Chart
Latest synoptic charts
H-Alpha
H-alpha
If you viewed the Sun through a certain type of red filter, you might be able to see dark sunspots and white "plages" indicating areas of high magnetic activity. Also possibly visible are long, dark filaments -- magnetic arch-like features in the solar atmosphere. If you see a filament on the edge of the solar disk, it will appear as a prominence. Although these "h-alpha" images were taken in light from the red part of the spectrum, they are produced in gray.
farside
Animated Sun
A collection of solar images, strung together in an animation.


Image Credits: Blue EIT image -- EIT instrument on SOHO spacecraft; Multicolor sun -- SOHO spacecraft; Orange sun -- MDI instrument on SOHO spacecraft; Farside image -- SOI group at Stanford University & SOHO spacecraft; magnetogram -- MDI instrumnet on SOHO spacecraft; h-alpha image -- Big Bear Observatory; animated Sun -- animation by Hao Thai based on SOHO data.

The SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a mission of international cooperation between ESA (the European Space Agency) and NASA.

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