NASA and the Sun

21 Dec 2017

At ... newly analysed images could help solve mysteries about solar wind and the superhot corona. The outer corona may appear smooth and calm but freshly analysed images from NASAs STEREO spacecraft show an unexpected texture. It is full of knots, whorls and blobs.

The solar wind is composed of charged plasma  which roils in loops and fans that follow magnetic field lines emerging from the surface of the Sun - but at a certain distance from the Sun the plasma can escape and stream through the solar system as the solar wind. This is a constant flow of charged particles that pummels the planets in its path, including on occasion the Earth. However, scientists still appear to be locked in to the reconnection idea - but we shall see how this develops.