Scientists have now made a major breakthrough in understanding this complexity by studying the ‘skeleton’ of the magnetic field. A team of scientists from St Andrew’s University will present the results on Monday 16 April at the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting in Preston. "It is the Sun's magnetic field that dominates the behaviour of the corona and determines its structure", said team member Andrew Haynes, “and our work is a key step forward in understanding its structure”.
Until now the complexity of the magnetic field has baffled solar scientists. Professor Eric Priest first proposed the concept of the solar skeleton in 1996. It consists of the key elements on which the complex shape of the magnetic field is built. "We realised", added Dr Clare Parnell, "that by constructing the skeleton of the field, we could unravel this complexity and hopefully determine how the corona is heated".
Dr Parnell and colleagues have managed to develop a computer experiment, which simulates the complex structure of the corona and have found that the coronal heating is focused in specific parts of the skeleton. "In future", she added, "we should be able to compare this type of analysis with dramatic new observations from the recently launched Hinode spacecraft and thereby really nail down the heating mechanism".
The work of the St Andrew’s team indicates that the solar skeleton changes continually and has a much richer structure than anyone imagined. Their work is a building block in astronomers’ efforts to better understand events such as the solar flares and coronal mass ejections that eject billions of tonnes of matter into space.
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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