NuSTAR sends a gargantuan image of our Sun. NASA called it “most sensitive solar portrait ever taken in high-energy X-rays”. The image was caught by Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and is now available for the people to place it as their wallpapers.
NuSTAR, short for Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, a space-based X-ray telescope that uses a Wolter telescope to focus high energy X-rays from astrophysical sources, especially for nuclear spectroscopy.
NuSTAR was built by a consortium including Caltech; JPL; the University of California, Berkeley; Columbia University, New York; the Danish Technical University in Denmark; ATK Aerospace Systems, Goleta, California; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California; NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland – and with support from the (ASI) Italian Space Agency Science Data Center.
The craft was actually constructed by Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Virginia. NuSTAR is hosted by an operation centre at UC Berkeley.
These high high-energy X-Rays are generated from a gas heated above 3 million degrees. The presence of non-red bits in the picture shows the availability of lower-temperature material whose temperature is near 1 million degrees. The Green color represents the energies between 2-3 kiloelectron volts while the Blue color represents the energies between 3-5 kiloelectron volts.
The image was sent as a TIFF file but NASA placed a JPEG version of the file for the people. For much better quality one can have the TIFF file of the image available at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.