This is the most detailed movie ever recorded the Sun's 5500°C surface. Those shapes you can see here, called granules, are convection cells of solar plasma. Hot plasma wells up from below, cools, and sinks. The Sun's entire surface is constantly turbulently roiling like this.

Solar granules have an average diameter of around 1000 km, so most of these are larger than France!

Credit: National Solar Observatory/AURA/NSF

This was recorded using the Inouye Solar Telescope. A better quality version of the video can be seen here:

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@InvaderXan, that’s really cool...... awesome would probably be more appropriate.

@InvaderXan Thanks for sharing! 😀 It was a good reminder of how incredibly big our star is (compared to Earth, that is 😅)! 🌞

@MartinShadok By our standards, it totally is! Like, 99.8% of the entire solar system is just the Sun. We're just living on the random dust which was left behind after it formed!

@InvaderXan What’s that lil embryo what get smooshed in the middle? Poor thing.

@Shufei You know, I'm not entirely sure what those are. Small patches of hotter plasma which aren't caught in the downward current, I think?

They look like lil sunspots? I’d like to see this overlaid with a magnetic imaging map.

CW for addictive space science:

@Shufei Oh, sunspots are way bigger though. And much more noticeable. They're one or two thousand degrees cooler than the rest of the solar surface. Though there could be some magnetic effect buoying up those small, hot patches of plasma. I'm not sure, and now I'm curious...

@InvaderXan Yes, that is why I called it a lil embryo. Maybe it is an embryo of a spot, buoyed not by thermal convection but by magnetic resistance? It is worth pondering. Please ping me if you discover something...

@InvaderXan nvm. I just saw the timestamp in the corner of the video in the Twitter link. Looks like it's sped up maybe 60-100x, but at the physical scale it's showing, that's still moving extremely quickly!!

@nat Yeah, slower than shown here, but surprisingly fast for something that size!

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