The solar telescope GREGOR enables scientists to measure magnetic fields and flows on the Sun with unprecedented accuracy. The first results are now available.
At times of strong magnetic activity, the Sun offers spectacular sights of violent eruptions, evolving sunspots and strong magnetic fields. But there are also times at which it seems as though nothing is happening on the Sun surface with its almost regular pattern of grains referred to as granules. These ‘quiet’ regions also contain magnetic fields but they are very weak and therefore difficult to measure. Scientists at Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics work with the GREGOR solar telescope, inaugurated in 2012, to analyse sunspots and their finely chased structure with an accuracy never seen before.
This and other first GREGOR results will be presented in nine articles of a special edition of Astronomy & Astrophysics.