A composite view of the outer atmosphere of the Sun, the corona.
This image combines a wide-angle view of the corona from the Metis instrument on ESA’s Solar Orbiter taken in visible light (580-640 nm, shown in green) with images from the ground-based Mauna Loa K-Cor coronagraph (shown in blue) and from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) taken in ultraviolet light (19.3 nm, shown in yellow). The texture represents the field lines from an extrapolation of the Sun’s magnetic field.
The combination of these complementary views shows the full extent of the solar corona. The global scale solar magnetic field confines the plasma mostly near the equatorial belt, where the field lines are closed, giving rise to the bright streamers. Polar regions, where the magnetic field lines are open, exhibit a fainter brightness due the plasma outflow in the solar wind.
Solar Orbiter is a space mission of international collaboration between ESA and NASA.