Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


EIT waves and coronal magnetic field diagnosis

Department of Astronomy, Nanjing University in Nanjing, China – Solar coronal seismology based on magnetic field-line stretching model of "EIT waves" is proposed, which is demonstrated to be potentially able to probe the mysterious magnetic field in the solar corona.

The study, which was led by Dr. Chen, is reported in Issue 52 of Science in China (G) because of its significant research value.

Many explosive phenomena on the Sun, such as solar flares, involve the energy conversion from the magnetic energy to thermal and kinetic energies in the corona, which is the outer atmosphere of the Sun. Therefore, the coronal magnetic field is extremely crucial in the understanding of these eruptive phenomena.

However, at present, only the magnetic field along the solar surface can be measured directly, whereas the magnetic field in the solar corona can hardly be measured. Despite some efforts of measuring through infrared spectral lines and of the inversion through radio emissions, the coronal magnetic field is generally approximated by extrapolating the magnetic field from the solar surface, which is however an ill-posed problem. Therefore, it would be great to have an alternative approach to diagnose the coronal magnetic field.

In 1997, the EUV Imaging Telescope (EIT in short) on board the European–US satellite, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), discovered an unexpected wavelike phenomenon propagating in the solar corona, which was later named "EIT waves" after the telescope. "EIT waves" were explained successfully to be apparently propagating density enhancements compressed by the successive stretching of magnetic field lines during coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the largest-scale eruptive phenomenon on the Sun.

According to this model, the "EIT waves" propagation velocity is intimately determined by the 3-dimensional distribution of the coronal magnetic field. Based on such an interesting property, Dr. Chen proposed recently that the profile of the "EIT wave" propagation velocity can be utilized to probe the coronal magnetic field.

Dr. Chen told the reporter: "You know, we can already diagnose the deep structure of the Earth by analyzing seismic waves. Similarly, we now can diagnose the magnetic field in the solar corona by analyzing EIT waves, which in some sense can be analogized as helioseismic waves." He commented that, in this sense, "EIT wave" observations open a new window for solar physicists to look into the mysterious magnetic field in the solar corona, and would help uncover the explosive nature of many explosive phenomena, including solar flares. As also commented by a reviewer, "This is an interesting paper describing the observations and modeling of EIT waves, and illustrating how they can be applied to probe the global magnetic field in the corona".

"EIT waves" were originally explained as the magnetoacoustic waves, i.e., sound waves coupled with the magnetic field. Such a model was also used to estimate the magnetic field in the low corona. However, the magnetoacoustic wave model cannot account for various characteristics of "EIT waves". To reconcile the discrepancies, Dr. Chen and his collaborators from China, USA, and Japan put forward the magnetic field-line stretching model since 2002, which has been widely recognized in the solar physics community. In this newly published paper, Dr. Chen demonstrated that it is feasible to diagnose the magnetic field in the solar corona using the observations of "EIT wave" velocity profiles.

With the application of the "EIT wave" diagnostics, the 3-dimensional distribution of the solar coronal magnetic field is expected to be revealed, which would finally help unveil the nature of solar flares and CMEs, the two major driving sources of hazardous space disturbances to human high-tech activities, including navigations, telecommunications, manned missions, etc.

Dr. P. F. Chen is working in Department of Astronomy, Nanjing University. The department is one of the lead groups of astronomy research in China. The research was sponsored by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 10403003 and 10673004) and the Key Project of Chinese National Programs for Fundamental Research and Development (2006CB806302).


1. Chen P F. EIT waves and coronal magnetic field diagnosis. Sci China G-Phys Mech Astron, 2009, 52(11): 1785-1789

2. Chen P F, Wu S T, Shibata K and Fang C. Evidence of EIT and Moreton waves in numerical simulations. Astrophys J, 2002, 572: L99-L102

3 Chen P F, Fang C and Shibata K. A full view of EIT waves. Astrophys J, 2005, 622: 1202-1210

P. F. Chen | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First results of NSTX-U research operations
26.10.2016 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

nachricht Scientists discover particles similar to Majorana fermions
25.10.2016 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>