News on the mechanism for heating of the Sun’s corona

Justin Kasper of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: “I think we found it… The source of the heating in the solar wind is ion cyclotron waves.”


Ion cyclotron waves are made of protons that circle in wavelike-rhythms around the sun’s magnetic field. According to a theory developed by Phil Isenberg (University of New Hampshire) and expanded by Vitaly Galinsky and Valentin Shevchenko (UC San Diego), ion cyclotron waves emanate from the sun; coursing through the solar wind, they heat the gas to millions of degrees and accelerate its flow to millions of miles per hour.

See original article – the findings have applications in fusion reactor research – (link)

Edit: here’s a link to a better article over at NASA Science – (link)