• Video contributions from authors of Science papers

Heating the Solar Atmosphere

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One of the enduring mysteries of solar physics is why the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, is much hotter than its surface. Using observations from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and Japan's Hinode satellite, De Pontieu et al. report that the Sun's corona may be heated to millions of degrees by fountainlike jets of plasma that are propelled upward from the region immediately above the Sun's surface. In the first set of clips, lead author Bart De Pontieu explains the connection they observed between high-speed, hot plasma jets (red) and heating of the corona. The second set of clips highlights one of these fast jets (leftmost panel) and the corresponding heating of the plasma to100,000 degrees Kelvin, 1 million K, and 2 million K (right 3 panels).

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