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 A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
23.06.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?
23.06.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>