Japanese probe helps unlock riddle of sun's heat
New observations of the Sun gathered by a Japanese probe may finally explain why its outer atmosphere burns white-hot in contrast to its relatively cool surface, scientists said Thursday.
The riddle of the star's white-hot atmosphere, which at several million degrees kelvin is 200 to 300 times warmer than the surface, has intrigued solar physicists for more than 50 years.
The experts tended to fall into two camps, speculating that the extraordinary warmth of the outer atmosphere, or corona, was due to either miniature solar flares or atmospheric (Alfven) waves.
Several research teams had reported evidence of these Alfven waves, which could potentially heat the corona to extreme temperatures by releasing energy as they travel outward from the Sun along magnetic field lines.
But up to this point, scientists had not been able to detect the waves definitively because of the limitations of the available instruments.
The data collected by "Hinode" ("Sunrise" in Japanese), which can precisely measure small changes in the Sun's magnetic field, changed all that.
Images taken by the probe's Solar Optical Telescope suggest that the chromosphere, the region sandwiched between the solar surface and the corona, is riddled with Alven waves, oscillating at 10-25 kilometers per second.
The energy generated by the waves is sufficient to heat the corona which is probably most familiar to the layman as the white band of light that can be seen during the fleeting darkness of a total solar eclipse.
"We don't know how they heat the corona, and we can't be sure where the energy comes from, but we can say the oscillations have enough energy to heat the corona," said Robertus Erdelyi, a professor at the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre at the University of Sheffield in England.
Erdelyi was the author of an editorial that appeared in the journal Science along with 10 research papers documenting the findings from the Hinode mission.
The satellite, launched September in 2006, has provided scientists with an unprecedented peek at the structures and magnetic fields within the Sun's high-energy plasma, thanks to high-resolution video and images captured by the satellite's spectrometers.
Researchers from NASA and the space agencies of Britain, Europe, Japan, and Norway have been analyzing the data and say it also provides clues to the origins of the solar wind, which blasts through the solar system and buffets planetary atmospheres.
A team lead by Bart de Pontieu of the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, California, showed the Alven waves detected by Hinode are vigorous enough to accelerate the solar wind.
Separately, a US team of solar physicists observed record numbers of jets of rapidly moving hot plasma at the Sun's poles, which they believe may contribute to the solar wind.
"The large number of jets, coupled with the high speeds of the outflowing plasma, lends credence to the idea that X-ray jets are a driving force in the creation of the fast solar wind," said Jonathan Cirtain, a solar physicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Solar wind can threaten telecommunications, navigation systems and electric power grids on Earth. Scientists hope a better understanding of the wind, could help people plan better for space weather.
Article from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071206/
The Explosion that Shattered Solar Theory
Electric Motor of the Milky Way
Why The Electric Universe Matters
The Electric Glow Of The Sun
Red Ice Creations Radio - Donald E. Scott - The Electric Sky
Red Ice Creation Radio - Donald E. Scott - The Electric Sky Continued (Subscription)
Solar flares will disrupt GPS in 2011
Solar Storm Warning 2011-2012
A Case For The Sun to Be Alive
Latest News from our Front Page
School Textbook: “There’s No Such Thing as Reverse Racism” Only White People can be Racist
Only white people can be racist.
A school textbook teaches students that “there is no such thing as reverse racism” and that women can never be as sexist as men.
The passage, which appears to be taken from a “multicultural education series” book entitled Is Everyone Equal, states, “STOP: There is no such thing as reverse racism or reverse sexism (or the ...
Americans to Receive Full Biometric Treatment for all Forms of European Travel
Travel becomes truly ominous...
In a trend that isn't wholly surprising, EU Observer reports:
US citizens and other non-EU nationals who enter Europe will be asked to have their faces image-captured and fingerprints scanned upon arrival at a half-dozen major airports. [emphasis added]
This "biometric dragnet" is the pilot test for the EU's new "smart borders" packages. The test ...
Breaking: Google gives new meaning to “Orwellian”
Becomes Ministry of Truth
“…if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth.” (1984, George Orwell)
The New Scientist has the stunning story (2/28/15, “Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links,” by Hal Hodson):
“THE internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free ‘news’ stories ...
Boris Nemtsov, Putin Foe, Is Shot Dead in Shadow of Kremlin - A Staged Shooting?
NY Times: Boris Nemtsov, Putin Foe, Is Shot Dead in Shadow of Kremlin
Mr. Nemtsov, a former first deputy prime minister of Russia, was killed in central Moscow in the highest-profile assassination in Russia during the tenure of President Vladimir V. Putin.
A Staged Shooting?
Why does the dead body of fitness enthusiast Boris Nemtsov have a pot belly?
The Anti-New York Times doesn't ...
Spielberg's Hoax - The Last Days of The Big Lie
Editor's Note: This is an absolutely SHOCKING video. How this has gone largely unchallenged for such a long time, is a remarkable testimony to the trustworthiness of gullible but good-hearted people. Watch it all the way to the end and learn something new about the remarkable lies and falsehood in our world.
If the video is blocked in your country, see ...
|More News » |