The solar corona: What are the remaining fundamental physical questions?

Petrus C. Martens*
Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA

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The two key unresolved physical questions in our knowledge of the solar corona are: (1) How is the corona heated to a temperature of several MK, and, directly related to that, why is the coronal emission structured in nearly constant cross-section loops? And, (2) what is the mechanism that determines the onset of solar flares and eruptions, and, again directly related, can flares be predicted? I will introduce these questions, discuss some proposed solutions that are not complete, and my view on getting to the full solutions.

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Keywords : solar corona – coronal heating – solar flare prediction