High-Energy X-ray Sun

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Here in Northern Alberta the days are getting longer and the sun is starting to have a little more oomph. It is still low in the sky at midday but able to melt snow off the car window, for example.

From the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), the image below shows x-rays streaming off the sun. It was created by taking a photo from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), and overlaying it with an image from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR).

image of the sun
NuSTAR image overlaid on SDO image. (NASA)

“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.” (JPL, NASA)

Hot stuff!

Without the sun’s intense energy and heat, there would be no life on Earth. In winter we are greatly affected when Earth’s orbit faces us away from the sun!!

The connection and interactions between the Sun and Earth drive the seasons, ocean currents, weather, climate, radiation belts and aurorae. (Overview | the Sun. NASA)

The Sun | NASA

How Round is the Sun?

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