Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New insights into sun's photosphere reported by NJIT researcher at Big Bear

11.01.2011
NJIT Distinguished Professor Philip R. Goode and the research team at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) have reported new insights into the small-scale dynamics of the Sun's photosphere. The observations were made during a period of historic inactivity on the Sun and reported in The Astrophysical Journal . http://iopscience.iop.org/2041-8205/714/1/L31 The high-resolution capabilities of BBSO's new 1.6-meter aperture solar telescope have made such work possible.

"The smallest scale photospheric magnetic field seems to come in isolated points in the dark intergranular lanes, rather than the predicted continuous sheets confined to the lanes," said Goode. "The unexpected longevity of the bright points implies a deeper anchoring than predicted."

Following classical Kolmogorov turbulence theory, the researchers demonstrated for the first time how photospheric plasma motion and magnetic fields are in equipartition over a wide dynamic range, while unleashing energy in ever-smaller scales.

This equipartition is one of the basic plasma properties used in magnetogydrodynamic models. "Our data clearly illustrates that the Sun can generate magnetic fields not only as previously known in the convective zone but also on the near-surface layer. We believe small-scale turbulent flows of less than 500 km to be the catalyst," said NJIT Research Professor Valentyna Abramenko at BBSO.

Tiny jet-like features originating in the dark lanes surrounding the ubiquitous granules that characterize the solar surface were also discovered. Such small-scale events hold the key to unlocking the mystery of heating the solar atmosphere, the researchers said. The origins of such events appear to be neither unequivocally tied to strong magnetic field concentrations, nor associated with the vertex formed by converging flows.

"The solar chromosphere shows itself ceaselessly changing character with small-scale energetic events occurring constantly on the solar surface, said NJIT Research Professor Vasyl Yurchyshyn, also at BBSO. Such events suggest a similarity of magnetic structures and events from the hemisphere to its granular scales. The researchers hope to establish how such dynamics can explain the movement underlying convective flows and turbulent magnetic fields.

The telescope is the crown jewel of BBSO, the first facility-class solar observatory built in more than a generation in the U.S. The instrument is undergoing commissioning at BBSO. Since 1997, under Goode's direction, NJIT has owned and operated BBSO, located in a clear mountain lake.

The mountain lake is characterized by sustained atmospheric stability, which is essential for BBSO's primary interests of measuring and understanding solar complex phenomena utilizing dedicated telescopes and instruments.

The images were taken with the new instrument with atmospheric distortion corrected by its 97 actuator deformable mirror. By the summer of 2011, in collaboration with the National Solar Observatory, BBSO will have upgraded the current adaptive optics system to one utilizing a 349 actuator deformable mirror.

The new telescope began operation in the summer of 2009, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Air Force Office of Scientific Research, NASA and NJIT. Additional NSF support was received a few months ago to fund further upgrades to this new optical system.

The telescope will be the pathfinder for an even larger ground-based telescope, the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST), to be built over the next decade. NJIT is an ATST co-principal investigator on this NSF project.

Scientists believe that magnetic structures like sunspots hold the key to space weather. Such weather, originating in the Sun, can affect Earth's climate and environment. A bad storm can disrupt power grids and communication, destroy satellites and even expose airline pilots, crew and passengers to radiation.

The new telescope now feeds a high-order adaptive optics system, which in turn feeds the next generation of technologies for measuring magnetic fields and dynamic events using visible and infrared light. A parallel computer system for real-time image enhancement highlights it. Goode and his research team, who study solar magnetic, are expert at combining BBSO ground-based data with satellite data to determine dynamic properties of the solar magnetic fields.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls more than 8,800 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2009 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Office of Continuing Professional Education.

Contact: Sheryl Weinstein, director, public relations, Sheryl.m.weinstein@njit.edu, 973-596-3436

Sheryl Weinstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.njit.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>