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HOME > PAST ISSUE > May-June 2010 > Article Detail

FEATURE ARTICLE

Revealing the True Solar Corona

Imaging may have inadvertently led astrophysicists astray in understanding the Sun

Richard Woo

2010-05WooF1.jpgClick to Enlarge ImageSometimes seeing shouldn’t be believing. For 150 years, the solar corona has been studied by the use of images—including visual, photographic and processed. The assumption was that the observed variations in brightness were indicative of the processes that produce the solar wind and that the wind therefore emanated from polar coronal holes. The author, however, studies the plasma density of the solar wind, the only parameter that has been extensively studies in both the corona and the solar wind. From these data, he concludes that the solar wind emanates radially from the entire Sun.


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