If you look at the sun (and remember, never do that without proper eye protection!) you might think, well, it's just a big hot ball. In reality, our sun is an incredibly dynamic big hot ball, with areas that are cooler and other that are hotter than the average surface area.
The hot cloud surrounding the sun, the corona — visible in its full splendor during a solar eclipse — is actually a whole lot hotter than the surface of the sun. Hotter means shorter wavelengths, and most telescopes simply aren't sensitive enough in that part of the spectrum.
Hi-C was developed specifically to look at those super-hot areas of the sun, and in its short 10-minute flight it took a picture every five seconds. And for sun enthusiasts, this means seeing the sun like we've never been able to see it before: a whole new portrait of our local star!
Learn more about the brief but intense adventure of Hi-C at http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/hic2013.html
Brush up on your knowledge about the debonair planet hunter at http://smsc.cnes.fr/COROT/
Beate Czogalla is the Professor of Theater Design in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Georgia College & State University. She has had a lifelong interest in space exploration and has been a Solar System Ambassador for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/ NASA for many years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org