The sun dazzled like a Christmas tree in hues of reds, greens and blues in its first-ever portrait taken in high-energy X-rays this week. NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, was built in 2012, chiefly to observe distant high-energy phenomena like supernovas and black holes. But the extraordinary image released by the space agency on Monday proved the supersensitive telescope can also capture our home star and could potentially solve a long-standing mystery.
"At first I thought the whole idea was crazy," Fiona Harrison, NuSTAR’s lead scientist, said in a statement this week. "Why would we have the most sensitive high-energy X-ray telescope ever built, designed to peer deep into the universe, look at something in our own back yard?"