RUSSELL CROMAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL CROMAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sun and Moon, composite image. The Sun and Moon appear to be roughly the same size when viewed from Earth. Although the Sun is some 400 times wider than the Moon (1.4 million kilometres compared to 3500 kilometres), it is some 400 times further away (average of 149 million kilometres compared to 384,000 kilometres). This image of the Sun is at the wavelength of hydrogen alpha light, which reveals the granulation of its surface. This mottled appearance is due to constantly moving convection cells, where hot plasma (bright) rises up from within the Sun before cooling and descending (darker). The Moon's surface is more permanently marked by bright highlands and dark seas (maria).
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