Spiral Aloe(Aloe polyphylla) is a species in the genus Aloe that is endemic to the Kingdom of Lesotho in the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa. This aloe is well known for its strikingly symmetrical, five-pointed spiral growth habit.
This incredible image was produced using data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) taken on January 17, 2003. This is the sun photographed as it was building towards a major eruption.
SDO carries imaging instruments that photograph different wavelengths of light released from the sun. If you remember your physics, there is a relationship between the wavelength of light, the frequency of the light, and the energy of the light, so SDO images basically reflect the temperature of the sun.
The colors in this shot are 3 different wavelengths of light. Temperature across the sun’s surface and in its corona varies as gases are moved around by convection and by the sun’s powerful magnetic field. Images like this are both gorgeous and help scientists understand the forces churning beneath the surface of the body at the heart of the solar system.