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A Leap in Understanding Loops

Computer model by Boris Gudiksen, Institute for Solar Physics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Åke Nordlund, Neils Bohr Institute for Astronomy, Physics, and Geophysics

In a breakthrough in the computer modeling of solar behavior, astrophysicists Boris Gudiksen and Åke Nordlund last year achieved 3-D simulation of coronal loops. The simulation supports observations from the space observatories TRACE and SOHO: That the sun is constantly generating a "magnetic carpet" of small loops arcing up from the surface, and that the energy created by the dynamics of these loops is likely the source of the corona's stupendous heat—hundreds, even thousands, of times hotter than the 10,000°F (5700°C) surface.



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