It's the celestial body that puts the "solar" in "solar system" — and NASA just published an incredible new look at it.
Below is NASA's explanation of the picture, taken by the NuSTAR telescope:
X-rays stream off the sun in this image showing observations from by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, overlaid on a picture taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). This is the first picture of the sun taken by NuSTAR.
The field of view covers the west limb of the sun. The NuSTAR data, seen in green and blue, reveal solar high-energy emission (green shows energies between 2 and 3 kiloelectron volts, and blue shows energies between 3 and 5 kiloelectron volts). The high-energy X-rays come from gas heated to above 3 million degrees.
The red channel represents ultraviolet light captured by SDO at wavelengths of 171 angstroms, and shows the presence of lower-temperature material in the solar atmosphere at 1 million degrees.
This image shows that some of the hotter emission tracked by NuSTAR is coming from different locations in the active regions and the coronal loops than the cooler emission shown in the SDO image.
On Reddit, commenters reacted to the picture with amazement.
"This picture is absolutely stunning," wrote one, while another commented, "Never once in my lifetime have [I] actually dropped my jaw from seeing a picture, this was the first time. This photo is absolutely breathtaking."
Others remarked how the picture was both beautiful and frightening.
"For some reason all these hi-res picture of the cosmos scare me to death," one commenter wrote. "To see in such great details the sun, or the surface of Mars, it makes them look so fragile and transient..."
Quipped yet another: "Stuff like this just reminds me how insignificant our world is in the scale of things but then reassures me from all the vast size and scope of the universe a thing so small as our planet can produce so much wonder."
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