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Kodaikanal Solar Observatory

Published: 5th Apr, 2024

Context

The Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO) turned 125 this year.

About

  • The Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO) is a solar observatory owned and operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, located in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. 
  • The Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is a pioneering institution for solar physics.
  • Evershed Effect: Its earliest claim to fame lies, in part, with the late John Evershed, an English astronomer who first observed the flow of gases across sunspots from here in 1909. This phenomenon was christened the Evershed Effect.
  • The sun has been studied over the last few centuries for various reasons, including
    • Solar eclipses
    • Sunspots –cooler regions on the sun’s surface that emit electromagnetic radiation
    • Solar flares, which affect the earth’s atmosphere

Fact Box:

  • Sunspots are areas that appear dark on the surface of the Sun. They appear dark because they are cooler than other parts of the Sun's surface. 
  • Solar eclipse happens when, at just the right moment, the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth.
  • Solar storms are magnetic plasma ejected at great speed from the solar surface. They occur during the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots (‘dark’ regions on the Sun that are cooler than the surrounding photosphere), and can last for a few minutes or hours. 
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