NASA’s IRIS spots Nanojets: Shining light on heating the solar corona
Released on September 21, 2020
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.