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Loops in the sun’s plasma may reveal how its corona gets so hot

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The sun's plasma loops may trap ions

The sun’s plasma loops may trap ions


The mystery of the sun’s super-hot atmosphere may lie in giant loops of plasma that are mostly invisible to today’s solar probes.

Normally, the further you go from a heat source, the cooler it gets. Not so with the sun. Its surface is a sizzling 6000°C, but the corona, despite being further from the sun’s nuclear core, reaches more than a million degrees.

Physicists aim to solve this mystery by mapping the coronal loops: streams of hot, glowing plasma that follow magnetic field lines …

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