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Space Science

Magnetic 'Braids' May Cook the Sun's Corona 32

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-would-like-mine-medium-rare-please dept.
astroengine writes "Scientists have long puzzled over why the surface of the sun is cooler than its corona, the outer hazy atmosphere visible during a solar eclipse. Now, thanks to a five-minute observation by a small, but very high-resolution ultraviolet telescope, they have some answers. Hi-C, which was launched aboard a suborbital rocket to study the sun without interference from Earth's atmosphere, revealed interwoven magnetic fields braided like hair. When the braids relaxed, they released energy, heating the corona (abstract). 'I had no idea we would see structures like that in the corona. Seeing these braids was very new to me,' astrophysicist Jonathan Cirtain with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., told Discovery News."
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Magnetic 'Braids' May Cook the Sun's Corona

Comments Filter:
  • Yes. (Score:5, Informative)

    by earls (1367951) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @04:11PM (#42672961)

    As soon as fusion is mastered. These braids are just moderating the release of energy from the star.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @04:18PM (#42673017)

    Conservation of Energy says no... if you make a magnetic field you get at most, in a perfect world, as much as energy back as you spent making the field. Positive energy production only comes from reduction of potential energy (lost mass, broken chemical bonds, etc.). If you aren't destroying something your not getting energy out.

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