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Herschel
Space
Observatory

An
ESA
Mission
with
Participation
from
NASA

 

NASA
Herschel
Science
Center's
Portal
to
the
Cool
Universe

Cool Layer in a Sun-like Star

Nhsc2013-007a

One of the great curiosities in solar science is that our Suns outer atmosphere the corona is heated to millions of degrees when its visible surface is only about 6000 degrees. Even stranger is a curious temperature minimum of 4000 degrees lying between the two layers, in the chromosphere. Now, using the Herschel space observatory, scientists have made the first discovery of an equivalent cool layer in the atmosphere of the Sun-like star, Alpha Centauri A.