Coronal Loops

Plasma arcs from the surface of the sun, guided back down by powerful magnetic field lines.
There’s a lot we still don’t know about stars; plasma outflows play an important role in heating the atmosphere around the sun, but their immensity and power are tough to explain.

September 15, 2015

When talking about a plasma like the sun, physical convection currents become literal electromagnetic currents, and vice versa. This complex interplay drives upwellings of magnetic flux to the solar surface, where they guide plasma out into the corona, the thin atmosphere of gas around the sun. Although the temperature at the surface of the sun—roughly 4,000 Kelvin—sounds hot, the corona can reach mind-boggling temperatures close 20,000,000 K.