News From the Field
Plasma Jets Are Prime Suspect in Solar Mystery
January 6, 2011
One of the most enduring mysteries in solar physics is why the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, is millions of degrees hotter than its surface. Now scientists believe they have discovered a major source of hot gas that replenishes the corona: narrow jets of plasma, known as spicules, shooting up from just above the sun's surface. The finding addresses a fundamental question in astrophysics: how energy moves from the sun's interior.
National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
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