The atmosphere of the Sun - the Corona

The corona begins at the top of the atmosphere. Because the corona is so thin, you can only see it during a solar eclipse, when the glare of the Sun itself (its photosphere) is blocked by the moon. The corona can be seen on the image to the left. Click for a larger version.

On the next (long) movie of a solar eclipse, to the right, you can see that very well: The instant the Sun becomes eclipsed, you suddenly can see a whitish glow around it (3.1M Mpeg).
The movie to the left shows a time-lapse movie of the corona. The sun itself has been eclipsed by a small disk, it would otherwise blind the equipment. (785k MPEG)
On this short movie (428k MPEG) can be seen how an outburst shoots from the solar surface through the corona. Look closely in the upper left area, it's gone before you know it!

The temperature of the corona is very high: About a million degrees. It is so hot that it emits light at X-ray wavelengths; the picture to the right is an `X-ray photo' of the sun.

It still isn't well known how this can be: How can the surface of the sun be `only' 6000 degrees, while the area about it is much hotter? It probably has to do with the complicated magnetic fields of the sun, but the last word hasn't been said about that.