27 February 2017 - Mission Day: 7759 - DOY: 058

SOLAR ROTATION RATE WITH DEPTH IMAGE: This image, taken using the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) instrument on board the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft, shows differences in the speed of rotation of material in the Sun. This image is made from continuous observations over a period of twelve months beginning in May 1996. The false colors represent speed; red material is rotating the fastest, dark blue, the slowest. The left side of the figure is rotation speed at the surface of the Sun; red material at the equator is moving approximately three thousand miles per hour faster than the blue material at the poles. The cutaway on the right reveals rotation speed inside the Sun. The large dark red band is a massive fast flow of hot, electrically charged gas called plasma beneath the solar equator. This plasma stream is approximately 300 thousand miles wide and 130 thousand miles deep. This material moves about four percent faster than the surrounding material. Additionally, the newly discovered, but much more subtle, plasma streams can be seen in the cutaway at the poles. They are the light blue areas embedded in the slower moving dark blue regions. Although much smaller than the equatorial stream, they are still immense by terrestrial standards. Each stream is about 17,000 miles across, large enough to engulf two Earths. This material moves about ten percent faster than its surroundings. (Photo Credit: Stanford University)



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