BBC Sky at Night Magazine

Campfires on the Sun

-

ESA/NASA SOLAR ORBITER, 16 JULY 2020

Why is the Sun’s surface 6,000oC while its corona reaches a million degrees, despite being further from the nuclear core? This mystery is one focus of the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter mission, which in July snapped the closest pictures of our star to date, passing 77 million km from its surface. They reveal masses of erupting flares, dubbed ‘campfires’ – each the size of a small European country – that may help explain the corona’s extreme heat. The arrow in the close-up image below points to one example of these campfires on the solar surface.

 ??  ?? 

 ??  ?? Earth to scale
Earth to scale

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom