Sun is really very hot. The Sun's outer atmosphere is so hot that it emits much light in the X-ray band, which was unexpected. X-rays are usually emitted from objects having a temperature in the millions of degrees, not the mere thousands of degrees of the Sun's surface. The above X-ray picture shows the Sun one particularly active day in August of 1992. Evident are hot spots on the solar surface, showing that areas above the Sun's surface really do reach millions of degrees. But possibly more puzzling is the broader X-ray glow visible surrounding the Sun. This glow is now attributed to the Sun's X-ray corona, the origin of which is currently a subject of much discussion and debate. The Sun is one of the most photographed objects, with frequently updated pictures available over the WWW. In fact, an X-ray picture from Yohkoh taken earlier today is usually available over the WWW. Compare it to the above picture!
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NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Sun
Publications with words: Sun