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Magnetic waves bake the sun's corona

Why the sun's outer atmosphere is so blazing hot

By
5:30pm, July 27, 2011

Scientists are getting warmer in their hunt for a reason why the sun’s outer atmosphere is so hot. The key may be magnetic waves long sought but only recently spotted, an international team reports in the July 28 Nature.

Combined with observations reported earlier this year (SN: 1/29/11, p. 12) of high-speed gas jets shooting up into the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, the magnetic waves may explain why the thin halo of superhot gas blazes at temperatures as high as a couple million kelvins. The waves may also account for the force behind the sola

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