Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The Solar Corona

Abstract

DR. DONALD H. MENZEL has an article entitled “What is the Solar Corona ?”in the Telescope of May–June, in which he refers specially to the researches of Bengt Edlén, of Uppsala, who has shown that coronium is chiefly iron. Nickel and calcium have also baen identified, the outer electrons in all these elements being torn away. Difficulties arise in explaining how the comparatively low temperature of the sun—about 6,000° C.—can be responsible for tearing away the outer electrons, the removal of which requires a temperature of at least 100,000° C. Then again, Edlén has pointed out that the great breadth of the coronal lines suggests a very rapid movement of the atoms, and a temperature of 2,000,000° C. would be required to explain this. Conclusions of a similar nature have been reached by independent lines of investigation and various explanations have been suggested to account for the source of this high temperature. The most acceptable hypothesis is that the highly heated coronal matter is issuing in great jets from holes and cracks in the solar surface. These crevices, which are probably associated with sunspots, run far down into the hot interior, where the temperature is several million degrees.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

The Solar Corona. Nature 148, 312 (1941). https://doi.org/10.1038/148312b0

Download citation

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing