The sun’s visible surface is around 5,500 ºC – but if you move away, the temperature soars millions of degrees. Why?
Observations by NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft suggest that “heat bombs” are going off in the sun’s outer atmosphere, helping to explain why the solar corona is so mysteriously hot.
These heat bombs arise when magnetic field lines cross and realign and explode like a miniature solar flare. The heat rapidly spreads over a large area throughout the corona.
Check out the video about for more about the sun and IRIS mission.
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.