NASA’s IRIS spots Nanojets: Shining light on heating the solar corona
In pursuit of understanding why the Sun's atmosphere is so much hotter than the surface, and to help differentiate between a host of theories about what causes this heating, researchers turn to NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission. IRIS was finely tuned with a high-resolution imager to zoom in on specific hard-to-see events on the Sun.
A paper published in Nature on Sept. 21, 2020, reports on the first ever clear images of nanojets — bright, thin lights that travel perpendicular to magnetic structures in the solar atmosphere called the corona — in a process that reveals the existence of one of the potential coronal heating candidates: nanoflares.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center