In this case the eclipse will only be seen from a narrow corridor in the southern hemisphere that is mostly over the ocean but also cuts across the northern tip of Australia.
To support ground observations of the solar eclipse on Nov. 13, 2012, Hinode will capture images of the full sun from space for comparison, much like this one captured on March 16, 2012 with its X-Ray Telescope. Credit: Hinode, JAXA/NASA
The JAXA/NASA Hinode mission will experience a partial eclipse of the sun near the same time as the observers in Australia. Hinode will coordinate its observations with those from the ground, before, during, and after the eclipse to produce a combined, scientifically interesting dataset.
Watching a solar eclipse – using appropriate instruments to protect the eyes since you should never look at the sun directly – is a crucial way of seeing the dim structures around the edges of the sun normally obscured by the brightness of the sun itself. Indeed it was during eclipses that scientists first observed the sun's atmosphere, the corona, which extends beyond the more easily seen surface, known as the photosphere.
In modern times, we know that the corona is constantly on the move. Made of electrified gas, called plasma, the solar material dances in response to huge magnetic fields on the sun. Structural changes in these magnetic fields can also give rise to giant explosions of radiation called solar flares, or expulsions of solar material called coronal mass ejections, CMEs – which make the corona a particularly interesting area to study.
"There are certain aspects of the corona that you can only see during an eclipse," says Jonathan Cirtain, the project scientist for Hinode at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "We'll change where Hinode points during the eclipse to support the different regions being observed from the ground."
Several groups will be doing observations from Australia. Although we have learned to make artificial eclipses using modern telescopes, owing to the distance of the moon, these natural eclipses are actually substantially beyond what we can do in terms of suppressing the light from the disk of the sun. This allows us to do unique science observations during these brief periods. A group from University of Hawaii will measure the intensities of various types of ionized iron atoms (atoms that have lost electrons) by measuring the radiation emitted at different stages of ionization. Since the iron atoms lose more electrons as the temperature increases (increasing the ionization stage), mapping such radiation can help scientists observe the temperature distribution throughout higher levels of the sun's atmosphere than can usually be seen.
A second group is led by NASA-Marshall and will observe a solar phenomenon known as plumes. Plumes are large structures that extend far out into the sun's corona and never turn back around to hit the sun again (as some other solar structures do.) These are typically seen in areas where the sun is more quiet, and again are hard to spot next to the brightness of the sun itself. Plumes are constrained to follow the very magnetic fields of the sun itself, so they can be a tool for mapping the sun's complex magnetic system, which, in turn, is thought to be the driving force for most events on the sun.
"Hinode will provide context images," says Cirtain. "It can see both the corona and the disk of the sun, and the hope is to be able to correlate the emission seen by eclipse observations on the ground to where its coming from on the sun itself."
Since the view of the eclipse from Australia only lasts for two minutes, the Hinode team has had to organize how to quickly capture the context images desired. But, together with the ground observations, those two minutes can help provide observations that are only rarely possible. The next solar eclipse will be a partial solar eclipse, visible again from Australia, on May 10, 2013. The next eclipse visible from parts of the Northern Hemisphere will be Nov. 3, 2013.Karen C. Fox
Karen C. Fox | EurekAlert!
Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences
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...
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...
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...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences