If you're like me, throughout the years you've tried your best to observe the sun without having to turn away three seconds in. We've seen close-up images of Mars, the moon and several other boring planets, but what's up with the sun? I want to know what that sucker looks like up close, don't you? Well, thanks to a recently-released image, we can finally see what the surface of the sun would look like if, say, you were standing on it and looking down.

This image was taken by the Swedish Solar Telescope back in 2007, and it reveals a close-up of the sun's surface -- complete with red granules and weird white dots. APOD says, "Caused by convection, the granules are hot, rising columns of plasma edged by dark lanes of cooler, descending plasma. But the high-resolution view reveals that the dark lanes are dotted with many small, contrasting bright points. Constantly present on the solar surface, the bright points do not seem to be related to sunspots that come and go with the magnetic solar cycle. Nonetheless, the bright points are regions of concentrated magnetic fields and are bright because the magnetic pressure opens a window to hotter deeper layers below the photosphere. For scale, the white bar at the lower left corresponds to 5,000 kilometers across the Sun's surface."

And no, staring at that picture long enough will not give you a sun tan. Sorry. But it's still cool, right? Check out a larger version of the image by clicking below ...

categories Movies, Sci-Fi