June - Dynamic inner corona

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This image is a deep high dynamic range composite of a series of different exposures that reveals the finest details of the solar corona that were visible during the total solar eclipse on 2 July 2019, as seen from ESO’s La Silla Observatory. The solar corona is a plasma of free electrons scattering the Sun’s light. These electrons are affected by the Sun’s magnetic field, so the shape formed by the scattered light reveals the contours of the magnetic field. During this eclipse, the corona had a dipolar shape, which is characteristic of a minimum in the 11-year solar activity cycle. The thin streamers emanating from the top and bottom of the solar disc indicate the two poles, while the solar equator is highlighted by large magnetic loops. In reality, the corona extends much farther than the edges of this image. 


ESO/P. Horálek

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