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Tiny solar flares may explain the sun’s ridiculously hot atmosphere

The layers of the sun

New evidence suggests tiny solar flares heat the sun’s atmosphere to thousands of times the temperature of its surface.

Small loops of super hot plasma may underlie a mysterious feature of the sun: It’s outer atmosphere, or corona, is far hotter than its visible surface, called the photosphere. NASA recently announced the best evidence so far that nanoflares exist. These solar flares so small they aren’t detectable from Earth. The study results were published Oct. 9 in Nature Astronomy.

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