22 May 2017 - Mission Day: 7843 - DOY: 142

The Sun's outer atmosphere as it appears in ultraviolet light emitted by electrically charged oxygen flowing away from the Sun to form the solar wind (region outside black circle), and the disk of the Sun in light emitted by electrically charged iron at temperatures near two million degrees Celsius (region inside circle). This composite image taken by two instruments (UVCS, outer region and EIT, inner region) aboard the SOHO spacecraft shows dark areas called coronal holes at the poles and across the disk of the Sun where the highest speed solar wind originates. UVCS has discovered that the oxygen atoms flowing out of these regions have extremely high energies corresponding to temperatures of over 200 million degrees Celsius and accelerate to supersonic outflow velocities within 1.5 solar radii of the solar surface. The structure of the corona is controlled by the Sun's magnetic field which forms the bright active regions and the ray-like structures originating in the coronal holes. The composite image allows one to trace these structures from the base of the corona to millions of kilometers above the solar surface.



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