Japanese probe helps unlock riddle of sun's heat
2007 12 11

From: news.yahoo.com


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/
sc_afp/scienceusspaceastronomy_071206214549;
_ylt=AvzpmEW6xzb_oZYlVfuuO.7POrgF



Related Articles
The Explosion that Shattered Solar Theory
Electric Motor of the Milky Way
Why The Electric Universe Matters
The Electric Glow Of The Sun
Electric Sunspots
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

Starbucks Supports Pro-GMO Company
2014 11 26
Another reason why you should not go to Starbucks. Starbucks has an image of being a socially responsible, environmentally friendly company (Really?). In 2013, 95 percent of their coffee was ethically sourced, and their goal is to reach 100 percent by 2015.1 Other goals include reducing water consumption by 25 percent in their company-operated stores by 20152 and mobilizing their employees and ...
Group Polarization and the Fad of Ethno-masochism
2014 11 26
From "Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 6 50 (6): 1141--1151 The psychology of White self hatred. Political correctness IS a mental disorder. More: Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis. Isenberg, Daniel J. the paper Indoctrinate U Harvard Professor Noel Ignatiev talks about how to end the White race The History of Political Correctness The Narrative: The origins of Political ...
Credo: A Nietzschean Testament by Jonathan Bowden
2014 11 26
This lecture by Jonathan Bowden was given at the 11th New Right meeting in London on September 8, 2007. The original title of the presentation was “The Art and Philosophy of Jonathan Bowden.” I think ideas are inborn, and you’re attracted, if you have any, toward certain systems of thinking and sensibility and response. From a very young age, I was ...
A Look Back at the OJ Simpson Verdict -- Reactions
2014 11 26
This is a look back at the different reactions to the OJ Simpson verdict some 20 years ago (exact date of verdict was Oct 3, 1995). The OJ Simpson jury consisted of 9 Blacks, 1 Hispanic, and 2 Whites. It would raise eyebrows after they only deliberated for 4 hours in a case that they were involved in for almost ...
New York Times Publishes Darren Wilson’s Street Address and Photo of House #Ferguson
2014 11 26
Hey here are the two @nytimes scumbags that published Wilson’s home address. —> @juliebosman & @campbellnyt— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) November 25, 2014 Michael Brown’s Stepdad Shouting ‘Burn This Bitch Down’ The New York Times published information about the address of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on Monday in a move that has generated controversy. Tensions are running high in Ferguson, Missouri, as ...
More News »