This image shows an active region of the Sun. The National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Park, CA, made it using one of several types of telescopes. Information about the Sunís activity is used to support of space weather forecasts. NSO has equipment that acquires solar images in the hydrogen-alpha line (once per minute), in continuum (once every ten minutes), and in line-of-sight magnetic fields. Images are passed through an automatic image-processing pipeline and are subsequently analyzed and displayed using various software tools. The areas marked, "plage" represent an area of brightnes. Filiments are gas clouds above the Sun's surface. Image courtsey of NSO.
the National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak