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Total Solar Eclipse Corona

Total Solar Eclipse Corona

C039/1491

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Credit

GERARD LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GERARD LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The corona, the Sun's outer atmosphere, seen in a High-Dynamic-Range composite image of the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 from Bandit Springs, Oregon, United States. Processing here approximates the visual appearance of the corona during totality. Here the corona spans more than 5 solar radii and actually extends out of the field of view. The bright star Regulus (Alpha Leonis) is at bottom right, and magnitude 5.26 Nu Leonis is at left. Intricate detail in the corona is caused by the Sun's magnetic fields, which get twisted up and may contribute to the heating of the corona when they release a tremendous amount of stored magnetic energy. The corona is very thin, but has a temperature of more than a million degrees Kelvin - it actually gets hotter farther away from the Sun - and can only be seen during a total eclipse of the Sun.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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