NASA monitors solar heat bombs, mini-tornadoes on sun

Data have been unveiled by scientists at NASA showing how the energy of the sun moves from the surface of the star at the centre of our solar system through its fiery atmosphere.
The researchers published a series of papers in the latest issue of Science magazine. In the study, the researchers presented their findings from the US space agency's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), which was launched into orbit last year.
"This set of research really delivers on the promise of IRIS, which has been looking at a region of the Sun with a level of detail that has never been done before," said Bart De Pontieu, the project's science lead at Palo Alto, California-based Lockheed Martin.

"The results focus on a lot of things that have been puzzling for a long time and they also offer some complete surprises."

The researchers claim they have discovered a number of "clues" about what heats the interface region, dubbed the corona, which according to NASA is sandwiched between the solar surface and its outer atmosphere.

According to researchers, all the energy to power the Sun's incredible output passes through the corona first.

Scientists at the Gottingen, Germany-based Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research observed some surprising thing using the IRIS data.

They spotted heat pockets of 200,000 F, much lower down in the solar atmosphere than expected.
"These unexpected results will likely lead to a reassessment of other phenomena in the low solar atmosphere," said IRIS principal investigator Alan Title.

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