Science Recorder NASA launching IRIS, a new eye on poorly understood region of sun Christian Science Monitor Indeed, for understanding some of the sun's processes, solar physicists didn't need to know what was going on there, earning it the title...
|Scooped by Marilyn Korhonen|
Solar physicists have had an "ignorosphere," in a region between the sun's lower atmosphere and its expansive outer atmosphere according to Ed DeLuca, a solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. As physicists developed models to more fully represent the sun's processes, it became clear that the ignorosphere could be ignored no longer.
At the top of the sun's lower atmosphere, known as the chromosphere, temperatures rise from about 10,000 degrees at the sun's surface to roughly 36,000 degrees. Processes in the interface region – only about 200 miles thick – kick those temperatures up to 1 million degrees F., feeding an even hotter outer atmosphere, or corona. There, temperatures are comparable to those in the sun's core.
The region generates most of the ultraviolet light the sun delivers to Earth, affecting everything from sun tans to atmospheric chemistry and climate. It's thought to play a key role in the solar outbursts that can disrupt power grids and satellite navigation.