The Sun Revealed: Photos of the Million-Degree Solar Corona

1.5 Million-Degree Solar Atmosphere


The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on the Solar Dynamics Observatory captures images of the sun's corona. This image shows the 1.5 million-degree solar atmosphere and is taken at the start of the Hi-C sounding rocket observations. Released Jan. 23, 2013.

Magnetic Braids on the Sun

Dr. Amy Winebarger, MSFC/NASA

NASA's High-resolution Coronal Imager (Hi-C) capture over 50 16-Megapixel images of the 1.5 million-degree solar corona. The large image is the full frame image and the smaller images along the top and sides are sub fields of the image. The upper left corner image is from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the box in this image shows the Hi-C field of view. Released Jan. 23, 2013.



A contingent of the NASA team recovers the Hi-C payload from the New Mexico desert. The small Hi-C telescope captured spectacular high-resolution images of the sun's corona in July 2012.

High-Resolution Coronal Imager (Hi-C) Payload


NASA's High-resolution Coronal Imager (Hi-C) payload rests in the White Sands, New Mexico desert after returning to Earth. The payload reached 283km altitude and collected 345 seconds of science data of the solar atmosphere.

The Sun's Corona Seen by NASA's Hi-C Telescope


NASA's High Resolution Coronal Imager telescope, or Hi-C, captured this high-resolution shot of the sun's outer atmosphere during a 10-minute suborbital spaceflight on July 11, 2012.

Hi-C Instrument


The Hi-C instrument on the integration table at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Image released Jan. 23, 2013.

Hi-C Payload Recovery


The recovering team poses for a photo with the payload before loading the instrument in a pair of U.S. Army Helicopters and returning to base. From left: Eduardo Legman (Wallops FLight Facility/NASA, Ken McCraken (Harvard-Smithsonian), Dr. Jonathan Cirtain (MSFC/NASA); Dyana Beabout. Image released Jan. 23, 2013.

SUMI Sounding Rocket Payload


SUMI Sounding rocket payload being readied for loading in the helicopter. Image released Jan. 23, 2013.

Hi-C Launch


The High resolution Coronal Imager (Hi-C) was launched on a NASA Black Brant IX two-stage rocket from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico July 11, 2012. The experiment reached a maximum velocity of Mach 7 and max altitude of 264 km. The experiment collected 345 seconds of EUV science images. Image released Jan. 23, 2013.

SUMI and Hi-C Payloads

(Image credit: NASA/MSFC)

MSFC, Wallops Flight Facility, NASA/White Sands and partners accomplished the amazing of launching not just one, but two science payloads in six days, July 5 and July 11, 2012. The SUMI and Hi-C payloads are seen in the integration facility at White Sands simultaneously being prepared for environmental testing. MSFC completed SUMI while SAO, UCLan and Lebedev contributed to the launch preparation activities along with the MSFC team for Hi-C. Image released Jan 23, 2013.

Team Members and Hi-C Rocket


Team members pose with the H-C sounding rocket. Standing, starting from left: Charlie Cathell (NSROC-LJT), Eduardo Legman (NSROC-OSC), Nicholas Mitchell (UCLAN), Todd Holloway (MSFC), Howard Soohoo (MSFC), Ken Kobayashi (UAH), Guadalupe Archuleta (Northrop Grumman), Amy Winebarger (MSFC), Brent Beabout (MSFC), Dyana Beabout (MSFC), Bernita Justis(NSROC-LJT), Kelly Korreck (SAO), Robert Walsh (UCLAN), Paul Harmon (NSROC-OSC), Sergey Kuzin (Lebedev Institute), Gerald Christeson (NSROC-OSC), Tim Wilson (NSROC-OSC), On the riser: Simon Platt (UCLAN), Martin Castro (NAVY), Nicholas Cranor (NSROC-OSC), Jonathan Cirtain (MSFC), Leon Golub (SAO). Image released Jan. 23, 2013.

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