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Space Science

Mystery of Sun's Outer Atmosphere Solved 56

xp65 writes "For decades, scientists have puzzled over the mystery of why temperatures in the solar corona, the sun's outer atmosphere, soar to several million Kelvin (K) — much hotter than temperatures nearer the sun's surface. New observations made with instruments aboard Japan's Hinode satellite reveal the culprit to be nanoflares. Nanoflares are small, sudden bursts of heat and energy. 'They occur within tiny strands that are bundled together to form a magnetic tube called a coronal loop,' says astrophysicist James Klimchuk. Coronal loops are the fundamental building blocks of the thin, translucent gas known as the sun's corona. The discovery that nanoflares play an important and perhaps dominant role in coronal heating paves the way to understanding how the sun affects Earth and its atmosphere."
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Mystery of Sun's Outer Atmosphere Solved

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  • by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @09:43AM (#29075679)

    If the Sun is electrically powered...

    Indeed. If you look closely with filtered binoculars (10x magnification or so will do fine), you can make out darker areas on the surface, which spell "Philips", just like any other electrically powered lightbulb.

    Or, to put it another way... the Sun is not "powered by electricity". It's essentially a huge, ongoing, thermonuclear reaction.

  • alternative (Score:3, Funny)

    by binaryseraph ( 955557 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @11:18AM (#29076083)
    Clearly the sun is producing way too much heat and energy- wasting its resources by not internalizing its combustion. I think we need to ban the sun, have a few rallies and focus on greener alternatives untill it can make changes.

The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.