October 2, 2023

A spacecraft has detected tiny jets that could be the elusive source of the sun’s solar wind.

The discovery was made by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Solar Orbiter. According to ESA, the satellite is the most complex scientific lab ever sent to the sun.

Using the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) —a suite of remote-sensing telescopes —  the probe spotted jets of material emerging from the sun’s outer atmosphere.

Each jet lasts between 20 and 100 seconds. During these fleeting moments, they expel charged particles — known as plasma — at around 100km per second. Scientists suspect the jets are powering the solar wind.

This mosaic of images shows a multitude of tiny jets of material escaping from the Sun’s outer atmosphere.