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June 28 2013

The Solar Probe Plus: A Mission to Solve the Mystery of the Sun's Corona


Here is something strange about the sun that you have probably never considered, as I heard it from Justin Casper, an astrophysicist who studies our star at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The sun is powered by fusion reactions at its core in which hydrogen atoms fuse together into helium, releasing tremendous energy in the process. That energy moves out from the core to the surface of the sun, called the photosphere. The temperature there is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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