This is not the eye of Sauron – this is our Sun. It’s what all the living creatures on our planet ultimately depend on for light, heat and energy… and it looks awesome!

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Using the Swedish Solar Telescope, a ground-based observatory, Goran Scharmer and colleagues probe the penumbra–that’s the stringy structure around the perimeter of the dark part of the sunspot. The images give scientists new insight into how that structure forms.

There is also a longer video of the same thing, which you can see below: