Associate Research Scientist Richard Frazin and his team made an interesting discovery when measuring the temperature of coronal loops, according to an article in Research Scientist. Frazin and his team were measuring the loops during a solar minimum, a quiet phase which sees fewer sunspots and flares. They expected all loops to get hotter with height since that was the case in measurements taken during more active phases. "Surprisingly, some of the loops nearest the sun's equator got colder near their tops. Frazin thinks these newly found 'down loops' exist throughout the solar cycle and may be a symptom of whatever causes coronal heating" the article states.
This could help scientists understand the huge temperature difference between the surface of the sun and the sun's upper atmosphere, which is nearly 400 times hotter than the surface.
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