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Rain and fluffy surface: Sun atmosphere detailed video revealed

Rain and fluffy surface: Sun atmosphere detailed video revealed Solar Orbiter shows the fluffy surface of the Sun in exquisite detail (illustrative photo: Unsplash)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The European Space Agency has published a short but fascinating video shot by the Solar Orbiter probe, which studies the Sun, including observations of processes in its atmosphere in unique detail.

In September 2023, a video was created using the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) camera, which operates in the extreme ultraviolet range, invisible to the human eye. It allows you to observe the processes occurring in the Sun's atmosphere in high detail.


The video shows the boundary between the super-hot outer atmosphere (solar corona) and the lower layers. The brightest areas have temperatures of up to a million degrees Celsius, while cooler areas appear darker. At the time of the shooting, the Solar Orbiter probe was at a distance of about 50 million kilometers from the Sun.

In the video, you can see several interesting structures. In the lower-left corner, coronal moss is visible throughout the video, which usually appears at the base of large coronal loops that are too thin to be seen with the EUI instrument.

On the horizon, you can see spicules - gas columns rising from the Sun's chromosphere along the magnetic field lines. Their height reaches 10 thousand kilometers.

At the 22nd second, a fluffy wave of plasma can be seen rising, after which most of the ejected material returns. This imaginary miniature curl is larger than the Earth.

At the 30-second mark to the left of the center, at a slightly higher altitude, dark structures known as coronal rain are visible-cooled plasma with temperatures up to 10 thousand degrees Celsius, which sinks to the surface of the Sun under the influence of gravity.

We also have material about which planets will survive when the Sun goes out and what will happen to the Earth.