Tiny ‘nanoflares’ might heat the Sun’s corona

16 octubre 2014

Why is the Sun’s million-degree corona, or outermost atmosphere, so much hotter than the Sun’s surface? This question has baffled astronomers for decades. Today, a team led by Paola Testa is presenting new clues to the mystery of coronal heating. The team finds that miniature solar flares called ‘nanoflares’ — and the speedy electrons they produce — might partly be the source of that heat, at least in some of the hottest parts of the Sun’s corona.