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The Solar Surface is Only 10 Thousand Degrees -- So Why Does the Corona Sizzle at 1 Million Degrees?

Posted by Guy Pirro 05/17/2018 05:55PM

The Solar Surface is Only 10 Thousand Degrees -- So Why Does the Corona Sizzle at 1 Million Degrees?

The Sun’s corona, invisible to the human eye except when it appears briefly as a fiery halo of plasma during a solar eclipse, remains a puzzle even to scientists who study it closely. Beginning 1,300 miles from the Sun’s surface and extending millions more in every direction, it is more than a hundred times hotter than lower layers much closer to the fusion reactor at the Sun’s core. A team of physicists at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) led by Gregory Fleishman, has recently discovered a phenomenon that may begin to untangle what they call “one of the greatest challenges for solar modeling” – determining the physical mechanisms that heat the upper atmosphere to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher.


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