Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Astrophysicists Listen to Loops Shivering on the Sun

17.02.2004


You would imagine that a 500,000 kilometre long arch of super heated plasma releasing energy equal to the simultaneous explosion of 40 billion Hiroshima atomic bombs would be as easy to “hear” as it is to “see” – but it’s not. Astrophysicists have long thought about using the acoustic waves in these flares to understand more about these gigantic events, that can be dozens of times bigger than the Earth, but have been unable to use effectively up till now. Now researchers at the University of Warwick, and Lockheed Martin’s Solar and Astrophysics lab in Palo Alto, have found a way to “listen” to how these gigantic loops “shiver” - vastly increasing our ability to understand these huge events which are big enough to affect telecommunications, GPS satellites, and even energy supply lines.



Researchers at the University of Warwick and Lockheed Martin’s Solar and Astrophysics lab in Palo Alto have found a way to spot and use an intense “shivering” of flaring loops to get a clear look at their structure. The closest analogy is the attack of shivering we suffer having a severe cold or fever. But, a flaring coronal loop suffers from the temperature up to tens of million degrees Kelvin. The University of Warwick led team have found that they can use radio and X-ray observation to spot a shiver or oscillation in the really high temperature loops (around 20 million degrees Kelvin) that behaves like an acoustic (sound) wave.

Previously researchers had noted these acoustic oscillations but had paid little attention to them as they were convinced that they dissipated quickly and were therefore of little use. However University of Warwick researcher Dr Valery Nakariakov and his team have been able to prove that these oscillations do not dissipate quickly and can in fact be sustained over a period from 10 seconds to 5 minutes in length. This means the data from these oscillations is much more useful than previously thought and can now actually be used, in combination with other observations, to calculate both the temperature and the length of each of these individual great loops of plasma. These results are just one of the successes of a new method for remote diagnostic of astrophysical plasma by University Warwick physicists known as MHD seismology.

Peter Dunn | alfa
Further information:
http://www.newsandevents.warwick.ac.uk/index.cfm?page=pressrelease&id=1673

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Scientific achievements during the operation of Lomonosov satellite
18.12.2017 | Lomonosov Moscow State University

nachricht Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity based on laser-cooled atoms
18.12.2017 | Faculty of Physics University of Warsaw

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: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

The body's street sweepers

18.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Fast flowing heat in layered material heterostructures

18.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

Life on the edge prepares plants for climate change

18.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>