Stunning pictures of a solar corona where temperatures around Sun reach 2,000,000c
By Michael Hanlon
Shooting a million miles or more out into the hard, cold vacuum of space, this fiery halo is one of the wonders of the universe.
Whipped into gigantic swirls by the Sun’s ferocious magnetic fields, the shell of super-hot gas is as beautiful as it is dangerous.
It’s called a corona and can’t normally be seen because of the brightness of the Sun, a broiling sea of hydrogen gas at 10,000c. But during a solar eclipse, the Moon blocks out the Sun and the corona is spectacularly revealed.
A photo montage captured during a solar eclipse over the Marshall Islands in July 2009. The beautiful image shows the solar corona that makes up the sun’s ‘atmosphere’ in amazing detail as the sun passes behind the Moon
This extraordinary image is a montage, digitally stitched together from 38 photos taken in Mongolia in August 2008 by veteran eclipse hunter Miloslav Druckmuller.
Even though there are small pink areas resulting from over-exposure, the result is still the clearest picture yet of this extraordinary phenomenon. To understand it is to come closer to grasping the awesome power of the Sun.
This flaming ball of hydrogen and helium gas, at 865,000 miles across, is 100 times wider than the Earth, with a million times its volume. Powered by nuclear reactions in its core, it is the most majestic object in our skies.