Scientists discover structure within the Sun’s atmosphere

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john finney photography via Getty Images

While scientists have been learning more and more about our solar system and the way things work, many of our Sun’s mechanics still remain a mystery. In advance of the launch of the Parker Solar Probe, which will make contact with the Sun’s outer atmosphere, however, scientists are foreshadowing what the spacecraft might see with new discoveries. In a paper published this week in The Astrophysical Journal, scientists detected structures within the Sun’s corona, thanks to advanced image processing techniques and algorithms.

The question that this group of scientists, led by Craig DeForest from the Southwest Research Institute’s branch in Boulder, Colorado, was trying to answer was in regard to the source of solar wind. “In deep space, the solar wind is turbulent and gusty,” said DeForest in a release. “But how did it get that way? Did it leave the Sun smooth, and become turbulent as it crossed the solar system, or are the gusts telling us about the Sun itself?”