NASA's NICER telescope sees hot spots merge on a magnetar

For the first time, NASA's Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) has observed the merging of multimillion-degree X-ray spots on the surface of a magnetar, a supermagnetized stellar core no larger than a city.

Astronomers shed new light on explosive solar activity

(Phys.org) -- The first images of an upward surge of the Sun's gases into quiescent coronal loops have been identified by an international team of scientists. The discovery is one more step towards understanding the origins ...

A solar illusion: Coronal loops may not be what they seem

Many coronal loops—ropey strands of plasma that scientists have long thought existed in the Sun's atmosphere—may actually be optical illusions, according to a new paper that challenges prevailing assumptions of what we ...

Heating the solar corona

The hot outer layer of the sun, the corona, has a temperature of over a million degrees Kelvin, much more than the surface temperature of the Sun which is only about 5500 degrees Kelvin. Moreover, the corona is very active ...

Tiny "nanoflares" might heat the Sun's corona

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 of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center ...

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