Rashes on the surface of the Sun, probably caused by giant unstable magnetic plasma arcs, as well as new reports - a discovery that makes scientists one step closer to predicting solar flares that could damage Earth.
Astronomers have long been observing giant plasma arches appearing on the surface of the sun. Known as magnetic flux lines, coronal loops and solar protuberances, these structures have spiral-shaped magnetic field lines, as if a huge rod magnet was twisted into a spin. As a rule, a huge amount of electric current passes through the core of each of these tubes.
Scientists have long speculated that the magnetic flux lines control powerful solar explosions, for example, coronal mass ejection, which can cause geomagnetic storms that can damage electrical networks on Earth.
This image was produced on April 20, 2015 by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Bright spots and arcs in the atmospheric layer are referred to as active regions. There is a bizarre and powerful magnetic activity that can sometimes cause solar eruptions, such as flares and release of coronal mass. Therefore, two models have appeared that explain how magnetic flux lines are formed. According to the first model, magnetic flow lines exist even before the eruption. When the lines become unstable, this leads to an eruption, called a reconnection, in which the energy of the magnetic field of the structure is converted into kinetic energy. According to the second model, magnetic flux lines are born at the same time as an eruption, which is caused by reconnection within the “arch”, a series of loops of magnetic field lines.
It was very difficult to understand which of these models more accurately describes the processes occurring in the external atmosphere of the Sun.
"It was a controversial issue over a long period of time," said study lead author Tachar Amari, an astrophysicist at the Polytechnic School in Palaiseau, France.
On January 17, 2013, the Solar Dynamics Observatory managed to capture one of the numerous jets in a combination of three wavelengths of light. Red, green and blue colors were used for the adjustment.
Now, using the HINODE satellite of Japan, the NASA solar-heliospheric observatory and the Paris-Meudon observatory, researchers found that the model with unstable flow lines can better explain solar eruptions. Using data from the four-day period preceding the coronal mass ejection in December 2006, the researchers developed a model of a solar coronal magnetic field. They found that in the days before the eruption, the magnetic energy was low, but it slowly increased over time. The day before the eruption, magnetic flow lines were formed and grew. When the magnetic energy reached the limit, the flow lines began to break up at a speed of 8, 9 million miles per hour (14, 4 million km / h), and the subsequent reconnection caused a release of coronal mass.