A New Look at the Sun (1970)

By June 1st, 1970

The Culgoora radioheliograph records second-by-second pictures of the Sun’s radio-emission at a wavelength of 3.75 meters. Located in northern New South Wales, the giant circular array of 96 aerials provides Australian radio-astronomers with a unique method of studying the violent but short-lived explosions which occur on the Sun’s surface.

An immense explosion on March 1, 1969 gave rise to a spectacular outburst. A giant ball of coronal gas was ejected from the Sun and moved outwards at a steady 600 000 miles per hour. The radioheliograph was able to track the source for two hours after it had become too faint to be seen as visible light. The source eventually faded some 1.75 million miles beyond the edge of the visible Sun.