Light Years

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

The sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona, is much hotter than its surface. The atmosphere’s temperature rises to millions of degrees, while the surface is only about 5,000 degrees Kelvin — a mysterious contrast, given that the atmosphere is farther from the sun’s hot core.

Scientists wanted to find out what energy source could be responsible for the inflated temperatures of the corona, which is where space weather — such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections that can interfere with your GPS — comes from.

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