The Sun in X rays from NuSTAR

Tue, 23 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Sun in X rays from NuSTAR

APOD: 2021 November 23 - The Sun in X rays from NuSTAR. Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

It is therefore unusual that regions overhead - even much higher up in the Sun's corona - can be hundreds of times hotter.

To help find the cause, NASA directed the Earth-orbiting Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array satellite to point its very sensitive X-ray telescope at the Sun.

Featured here is the Sun in ultraviolet light, shown in a red hue as taken by the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Superimposed in false-colored green and blue is emission above sunspots detected by NuSTAR in different bands of high-energy X-rays, highlighting regions of extremely high temperature.

Clues about the Sun's atmospheric heating mechanisms come from NuSTAR images like this and shed light on solar nanoflares and microflares as brief bursts of energy that may drive the unusual heating.

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