Solar Orbiter Captures Mesmerizing Video of Sun's Fluffy Plasma Structures: Science Alert

You've seen the sun, but never like this. This single frame from a video taken by ESA's Solar Orbiter mission shows the Sun at its best…. Fluffy!

You can see plumes, hair-like structures made of plasma following the magnetic field lines in the Sun's lower atmosphere, which becomes the extremely hot outer corona. The video was taken from a distance of about a third of the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

Watch the full video below showing unusual features on the Sun, including coronal moss, spicules and coronal showers.

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The Solar Orbiter captured this video on September 27, 2023 using its Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) instrument.

ESA reported Brighter regions are about a million degrees Celsius, while cooler matter absorbs radiation and appears darker.

So, what is coronal plaque? That's what gives the sun its fluffy appearance here. These strange structures on the Sun resemble the moss we see on Earth, appearing as fine, lacy features.

But on the Sun, they are usually found around the center of sunspot clusters, where magnetic fields are strongest and large coronal vortices form. Algae are so hot that most instruments cannot detect them. Algae are distributed in two atmospheric layers, chromosphere and corona.

Features on the surface of the Sun by the Solar Orbiter. (ESA & NASA/Solar Orbiter/EUI Team)

Spicules, as their name suggests, are tall gaseous spheres found on the solar horizon that reach into the Sun's chromosphere. These can reach an altitude of 10,000 km (6,000 miles).

At about 0:30 in the video, you'll see a coronal shower. This material is cooler on the solar surface (probably less than 10,000 °C) versus a million degrees C in the coronal loops.

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Showers are formed by high-density clumps of plasma falling back toward the Sun under the force of gravity.

Did you see the small explosion in the center of the vision at about 0:20 seconds into the video? , often the cooler material is lifted upward before falling down. It's not small – this explosion is bigger than Earth!

Missions like the Solar Orbiter, Parker Solar Probe, and Solar Dynamics Observatory are giving us unprecedented views of the Sun and helping astronomers learn more about the dynamic ball of gas that drives our entire Solar System.

This article was originally published Universe Today. Read on Original article.

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