Sun Granules

May 25, 2022

Solar granules 18082017 1249

Photographer: Matteo Vacca

Summary Authors: Matteo Vacca; Cadan Cummings

The photograph above shows granules on the photosphere of the Sun. These irregularly shaped features are produced by plasma convection currents below the Sun’s surface. Convection occurs when fusion reactions heat opaque gases, which causes them to rise to the surface and subsequently emit energy. Several million granules cover the Sun’s surface at any time; however, they usually last between 8 to 20 minutes before dissipating. To give a sense of scale to the photo, an average solar granule has a diameter of about 930 miles or 1500 kilometers. Always protect your eyes when observing the Sun.

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