Nasa has unveiled a stunning new picture of the Sun, which it hopes will blur the lines between science and art.
The American space agency released the footage which shows our star in luminous, psychedelic colour and beautiful detail.
If it looks more like an art project than serious science, that's no mistake: Nasa said the footage was intended to inspire as much as inform.
'Watching a particularly beautiful movie of the sun helps show how the lines between science and art can sometimes blur. But there is more to the connection between the two disciplines: science and art techniques are often quite similar, indeed one may inform the other or be improved based on lessons from the other arena," Nasa said.
The video uses a gradient filter like that available on software like Photoshop which is used to enhance areas of greater contrast.
"Scientists, too, use gradient filters to enhance contrast, using them to accentuate fine structures that might otherwise be lost in the background noise.
On the sun, for example, scientists wish to study a phenomenon known as coronal loops, which are giant arcs of solar material constrained to travel along that particular path by the magnetic fields in the sun's atmosphere.
Observations of the loops, which can be more or less tangled and complex during different phases of the sun's 11-year activity cycle, can help researchers understand what's happening with the sun's complex magnetic fields, fields that can also power great eruptions on the sun such as solar flares or coronal mass ejections."
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