Stunning X-Ray Portrait Of The Sun Snapped By NASA’s NuSTAR Space Telescope

nustar sun

X-rays stream off the sun in this image combining data from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) space telescope, overlaid on a photo taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

The photo is the first taken of the sun by NuSTAR and is the “most sensitive solar portrait ever taken in high-energy X-rays,” according to NASA. The green and blue portions of the image show highly energetic X-ray emissions. The red represents ultraviolet light captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, another NASA space telescope.

In addition to looking pretty spectacular, the photo may point the way to some pretty important science.

Space scientists are hopeful that by gazing at the sun, NuSTAR may be able to help explain why the sun’s outer atmosphere (corona) is so blazingly hot (1 million degrees Celsius) while its surface is much cooler (6,000 degrees Celsius).

The key to this decades-old puzzle may be smaller versions of the colossal solar flares familiar to solar astronomers. At this point these so-called “nanoflares” are still hypothetical, but scientists believe that they, in combination with big solar flares, may be the sources of the corona’s intense heat.

“NuSTAR will be exquisitely sensitive to the faintest X-ray activity happening —> Read More Here


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