SCOTTISH researchers have won a grant of more than £750,000 as part of a project that aims to further human understanding of how the sun works.

Experts from Dundee University are hoping to understand the basic physical processes that go on in plasmas on the sun and throughout the universe.

The project will focus on the solar corona, the outer atmosphere of the sun.

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Magnetic loops in the solar corona, solar flares and coronal mass ejections are among the phenomena that scientists still cannot fully explain.

Plasma, an ionised gas, clings to magnetic fields in the sun's atmosphere.

This means the magnetic loops in the atmosphere can be seen by high-powered telescopes due to the radiating plasma.

Finding out why the loops are so much hotter than the solar surface is a key aim of the three-year study at the university.