In December 2006, a series of solar flares produced in a single active region were observed from three different points, each approximately 120 degrees apart. The results of these observations are now presented at the European Planetary Sciences Congress, Potsdam, on Thursday 23rd August by a team of scientists from the Swedish Institute of Space Physics.
Although solar flares and solar energetic particles (SEP) have been reported many times based on Earth-orbiting satellites or other planetary spacecraft, this time scientists achieved simultaneous plasma observations using instruments aboard Mars Express, Venus Express , the SOHO solar orbiter and a GOES environmental satellite, which is in geostationary orbit around the Earth.
“These observations indicate that flare activities on the far side of the Sun may affect terrestrial space weather as a result of travelling more than 90° in both azimuthal directions in the heliosphere”, said Dr Yoshifumi Futaana, one of the investigators in this study.
Another important consequence of the analysis of SEP events is the insight they can provide into the process of planetary atmospheric evolution. During the December 2006 event, Mars Express observed an enhancement of ion (oxygen) outflow flux from the Martian atmosphere. This is the first observation of this kind and suggests that the solar extreme ultraviolet flux levels significantly affect the atmospheric loss from unmagnetized planets.
Dr Futaana explained, “This is of interest for planetary scientists because the ion outflow should play an important role on the evolution of planetary atmosphere if the flux is integrated over a geological time scale (billions of years)”.
This violent solar flare event also gives us a hint to solve a mystery of missing water on Mars. Mars is believed to have possessed a large amount of water approximately 3.5-4.0 billion years ago. However, no one knows where the water has gone now. One plausible idea is that the water has escaped to space, in the evolution of the planet’s atmosphere. One of the main scientific aims of Mars Express is to measure exactly how much of this water has been lost to space.
Anita Heward | alfa
Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
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“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
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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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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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