Friday, March 1, 2013

Chromosphere in Alpha Centauri A

One of the great curiosities in solar science is that our Sun's outer atmosphere – the corona – is heated to millions of degrees when its visible surface is 'only' about 6000 degrees. Even stranger is a curious temperature minimum of 4000 degrees lying between the two layers, in the chromosphere. Now, using ESA's Herschel space observatory, scientists have made the first discovery of an equivalent cool layer in the atmosphere of the Sun-like star, Alpha Centauri A.

Illustration credit: ESA

Note: For more information, see A Cool Discovery About the Sun's Next-Door Twin.

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