Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Investigating unusual three-ribbon solar flares with extreme high resolution

04.06.2014

The 1.6 meter telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) in California has given researchers unparalleled capability for investigating phenomena such as solar flares. Operated by New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the BBSO instrument is the most powerful ground-based telescope dedicated to studying the star closest to Earth.

On June 2, Distinguished Professor of Physics Haimin Wang joined NJIT colleagues at the 224th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), held in Boston, Massachusetts, to present intriguing data about solar flares — specifically, two successive three-ribbon solar flares observed on July 6, 2012.

The events were recorded by Wenda Cao, associate professor of Physics at NJIT, BBSO associate director, and a co-author of the paper presented. Flares with two ribbons are typical of these immensely powerful eruptions that can send storms of charged particles and high-energy radiation toward Earth at nearly the speed of light.

The research Wang described at the AAS meeting integrated data acquired with the BBSO telescope at the hydrogen H-alpha spectral line and Calcium II H images captured with instrumentation aboard NASA's Hinode satellite. The flaring site observed was characterized by an unusual "fish-bone-like" morphology evidenced by both H-alpha images and a nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) extrapolation, where two semi-parallel rows of low-lying, sheared loops connected an elongated, parasitic negative field with sandwiching positive fields.

The NLFFF model also showed the two rows of loops to be asymmetric in height with opposite twists, and to be enveloped by large-scale field lines, including open fields. The two flares occurred in succession within half an hour and were located at the two ends of the flaring region. The three ribbons of each flare were parallel to the magnetic polarity inversion line, with the outer two lying in the positive field and the central one in the negative field.

Both flares showed surge-like flows in the H-alpha images presented by Wang, apparently toward the remote region. One of the flares also was accompanied by jets of extreme ultraviolet radiation, possibly along the open field lines. Interestingly, the 12-25 keV hard X-ray sources of the flare first lined up with the central ribbon and then shifted to concentrate on top of the higher branch of loops. The results Wang discussed also suggest that the phenomenon of magnetic reconnection along the coronal null line is involved in producing the three flare ribbons and associated coronal mass ejections.

At NJIT, Wang also is director of the university's Space Weather Research Laboratory, based on campus in Newark, New Jersey. Under Wang's direction, the laboratory uses data from BBSO, the NJIT radio observatory in Owens Valley, California, NASA spacecraft and observatories in other countries to provide information about prevailing solar weather and what's ahead in the near future.

Operating the Global High Resolution H-alpha Network, Wang and his laboratory colleagues monitor solar activity and report space weather 24/7. In addition, they are working to further fundamental understanding of solar activity and geomagnetic effects. Better forecasting of solar events is a chief objective.

Beyond NJIT, Wang is leading a research team under NASA's Living With a Star program focused on gaining new knowledge about solar flares, the source of space weather. Another project on Wang's agenda "looks back to the future." It involves converting images from Big Bear and other observatories archived only as photographs into more accessible digital formats. This will give all researchers investigating the solar cycle and flare activity access to high-quality data extending over a century.

###

Funding for the research Wang presented on June 2 at the AAS meeting has been provided mainly by NASA through the Living With a Star program and partially by NSF.

The results of this investigation submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters are available at http://iopscience.iop.org/2041-8205/781/1/L23.

For more information, including images and video, visit http://bbso.njit.edu.

Visit the NJIT Space Weather Research Laboratory at http://swrl.njit.edu.

Contact:

Haimin Wang
Haimin.wang@njit.edu, (973) 596-5781
Home page: http://solar.njit.edu/~haimin

About NJIT

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls 10,000 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 2011 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 Division of Continuing Professional Education.

Tanya Klein | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: BBSO H-alpha NASA NJIT Physics activity flares solar cycle surge-like flows

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht The dark side of the fluffiest galaxies
24.05.2016 | Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)

nachricht Astronomers confirm faintest early-universe galaxy ever seen
24.05.2016 | University of California - Los Angeles

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: Atomic precision: technologies for the next-but-one generation of microchips

In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.

In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...

Im Focus: Researchers demonstrate size quantization of Dirac fermions in graphene

Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices

Quantum mechanics is the field of physics governing the behavior of things on atomic scales, where things work very differently from our everyday world.

Im Focus: Graphene: A quantum of current

When current comes in discrete packages: Viennese scientists unravel the quantum properties of the carbon material graphene

In 2010 the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for the discovery of the exceptional material graphene, which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms...

Im Focus: Transparent - Flexible - Printable: Key technologies for tomorrow’s displays

The trend-forward world of display technology relies on innovative materials and novel approaches to steadily advance the visual experience, for example through higher pixel densities, better contrast, larger formats or user-friendler design. Fraunhofer ISC’s newly developed materials for optics and electronics now broaden the application potential of next generation displays. Learn about lower cost-effective wet-chemical printing procedures and the new materials at the Fraunhofer ISC booth # 1021 in North Hall D during the SID International Symposium on Information Display held from 22 to 27 May 2016 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

Economical processing

Im Focus: Trojan horses for hospital bugs

Staphylococcus aureus usually is a formidable bacterial pathogen. Sometimes, however, weakened forms are found in the blood of patients. Researchers of the University of Würzburg have now identified one mutation responsible for that phenomenon.

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is frequently found on the human skin and in the nose where it usually behaves inconspicuously. However, once inside...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking 4.0: International Laser Technology Congress AKL’16 Shows New Ways of Cooperations

24.05.2016 | Event News

Challenges of rural labor markets

20.05.2016 | Event News

International expert meeting “Health Business Connect” in France

19.05.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists help create world's largest coral gene database

24.05.2016 | Earth Sciences

New technique controls autonomous vehicles on a dirt track

24.05.2016 | Information Technology

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition

24.05.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>