Comparison between DKIST and IRIS/SDO measurements

Close-up views of the magnetic structure as measured by DKIST (upper four panels) are compared with the upper atmosphere (lower four panels) as measured using instruments on the IRIS and SDO spacecraft. The shocking lack of identifiable magnetic structure in the chromosphere (row 2, first panel) just beneath the highly structured corona (bottom right panel) reveals that coronal heating problem contains variables hidden from our ability to deserve. The 8 decade-old problem must be re-formulated to address the conclusion that “the corona is a self-regulating forced system” (Einaudi et al. 2021). A paradigm change seems in order.

ApJ:  The paper uniquely connects magnetic fields threading the chromosphere to the overlying corona and other heated plasmas. No correlations were found between heated plasma and properties of chromospheric magnetic fields on scales below supergranules. Processes hidden from our observations control plasma heating. While improved magnetic measurements are needed, these data indicate that the corona is a self-regulating forced system. Heating depends on the state of the corona, not simply on boundary conditions. Heating models based upon identifiable bipolar fields, including cool loops, tectonics and observable magnetic reconnection, are refuted for these regions with unipolar chromospheric magnetic fields.