Japanese probe helps unlock riddle of sun's heat
2007-12-11 0:00

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

German Government Evict Poor Germans From Their Homes For Migrant Asylum Seekers
2015-09-03 2:40
This is a video of a report on replacement of poor Germans with Middle Eastern asylum seekers. This was made broudcasted on a German Left-leaning TV station on August 28, 2015. It's original title: The most poor of the poor have to vacate their homes for asylum seekers. Source: youtube.com
Black Lives Matter Radio Host Calls for Killing Whites and Police
2015-09-03 1:48
“It’s open season on killing whites and police officers." A blogtalkradio program associated with the Black Lives Matter movement spewed racist hate and called for a race war Monday, reports Breitbart. The YouTube video of the audio recording has since been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy prohibiting hate speech, but Breitbart has video (below) of the host "King Noble" making the comments, taken from ...
Irish will be an ethnic minority in Ireland by 2050
2015-09-02 22:32
The former President of Dublin City University says that Ireland’s natives will be a minority in the country by the middle of this century... Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski was referring to unpublished and unidentified United Kingdom based research. Speaking at the conferring ceremony at DCU on Tuesday he said that the Irish in Ireland will be a minority by 2050 while ...
Immigrant Crisis Is the Final Nail in the EU Coffin
2015-09-02 21:23
One of the biggest flaws with the EU, was the idea that they could house dozens of cultures with distinct histories and languages, all under one roof, and expect them to thrive. You can’t hold 28 nations together under one union, when all of these countries have wildly different interests, expectations, and priorities. Every time the EU faces a problem, ...
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
2015-09-02 19:43
Documents seen by The Independent show children are taught about the horrors of the Holocaust when they are still in kindergarten at the Beis Rochel boys’ school in north London. A whistle-blower, who wished to remain anonymous, has shown The Independent a worksheet given to boys aged three and four at the school. In it, children were asked to complete questions ...
More News »