NASA’s extensive fleet of spacecraft allows scientists to study the Sun extremely close-up — one of the agency’s spacecraft is even on its way to fly through the Sun’s outer atmosphere. But sometimes taking a step back can provide new insight.
In a new study, scientists looked at sunspots — darkened patches on the Sun caused by its magnetic field — at low resolution as if they were trillions of miles away. What resulted was a simulated view of distant stars, which can help us understand stellar activity and the conditions for life on planets orbiting other stars.
“We wanted to know what a sunspot region would look like if we couldn’t resolve it in an image,” said Shin Toriumi, lead author on the new study and scientist at ?the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science at JAXA. “So, we used the solar data as if it came from a