Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

August 11, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Sun Dance
Credit: A. Title (Stanford Lockheed Institute), TRACE, NASA

Explanation: Hot gas dances across the surface of the Sun in this picture from the orbiting TRACE satellite. The temperature of the gas is color coded so that blue represents hundreds of thousands of Kelvin, while red represents extreme temperatures in the millions of Kelvin. Hot gas is channeled into lanes ordered by the Sun's chaotic magnetic field. Pictures like these have shown that plasma heating occurs in relatively small regions.

Tomorrow's picture: Daedalus Defied

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.