Perhaps the Mayan’s got it wrong. Or maybe, even more likely we misinterpreted it. At the exact minute the world was to end 11:12 UT, Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere or for us at RAW HQ (has a nice ring to it doesn’t it) Summer Solstice, the watchful eye of NASA at the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (kind of like the eye in Lord of the Rings) captured this amazing portrait of the sun.
The sun didn’t unleash a killer solar flare or blow up but it is going through a fascinating solar cycle at the moment.
As can be seen from the SDO image above, the solar magnetic field is twisted and warped, channelling million-degree plasma high into the sun’s atmosphere in the form of beautiful coronal loops. This is all because the sun is fast approaching “solar maximum” — an exciting time when the sun’s magnetic field is most stressed.
Are there any astrotographers in the RAW community? I’d love to do a post sometime to share some of your best work.