Special Perspectives

Are There Alfvén Waves in the Solar Atmosphere?

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Science  07 Dec 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5856, pp. 1572-1574
DOI: 10.1126/science.1153006

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Abstract

The Sun's outer coronal layer exists at a temperature of millions of kelvins, much hotter than the solar surface we observe. How this high temperature is maintained and what energy sources are involved continue to puzzle and fascinate solar researchers. Recently, the Hinode spacecraft was launched to observeand measure the plasma properties of the Sun's outer layers. The data collected by Hinode reveal much about the role of magnetic field interactions and how plasma waves might transport energy to the corona. These results open a new era in high-resolution observation of the Sun.

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