Lennart Nilsson Award 2004

Göran Scharmer, Sweden

“For his pioneering work to reveal the sun in a radically new way. He has succeeded in making visible what was previously hidden from us. His unique close-up images of the sun combine research of outstanding quality with aesthetic beauty.”

Astronomer and solar physicist Göran Scharmer (b. 1951) has succeeded in revealing the sun’s fascinating features through stunning solar images. These depict the solar magnetic field, chromosphere and corona as never before in great detail and give viewers an intimate look at the Earth’s closest star. His unique close-up images of the sun combine research of outstanding quality with a strong aesthetic appeal, providing a detailed visual record that enhances our understanding of the center of our universe.

Scharmer has described the sun as the “Rosetta Stone of astrophysics” with its own yet-to-be-fully-deciphered codification system. His work using the Swedish Solar Telescope and successive generations of high-resolution solar telescopes has also led to the discovery of new types of magnetic substructures.