Science

Secrets of solar flares are unlocked

Scientists may finally understand the mechanism behind solar flares.

Flares can occur on their own, or be accompanied by powerful eruptions of plasma (charged gas) from the Sun.

If charged particles from these eruptions reach Earth, they can create havoc with infrastructure, such as satellite systems and power grids.

Now, researchers in France say the interaction of distinct magnetic structures controls these outbursts from our star.

Generally speaking, solar eruptions are caused by a sudden, violent rearrangement of the Sun's magnetic field.

At a deeper level, the process is controlled by two types of structures that form in the magnetic field of the Sun: ropes and cages.

The rope is confined within the magnetic cage. If the cage is strong, it can contain the rope's contortions, but when the cage is weak, an eruption can take place.

"The important point is that we got information on something we didn't expect to be playing an important role. That was the cage above the rope," Dr Tahar Amari, from École polytechnique and the CNRS in France, told BBC News.

The researchers focused on an intense flare that developed over a few hours on 24 October 2014.

Flares are spawned in the Sun's corona, the outermost layer of its atmosphere. But, for reasons that remain unclear, the corona is much hotter than the surface, inhibiting scientists' ability to study the magnetic field here.

Instead, the researchers used data from the photosphere – the Sun's "surface" – to reconstruct what was going on 1,690km above in the corona.

Using data from Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft, the researchers ran simulations on supercomputers.

They found that the rope had insufficient energy to break through all the layers of the cage, snuffing out the possibility of a CME. Despite this, the rope became highly twisted, which triggered a magnetic instability, destroying part of the cage. This allowed a powerful blast of radiation to break through, disrupting technology on Earth.

Using their method, the researchers have developed a model able to predict the maximum energy that could be released from the region of the Sun concerned. The model showed that for the 2014 eruption, a huge ejection of plasma would have occurred if the cage had been less resistant.

The work could be put to use in forecasting, to provide early warning of solar eruptions that could cause geomagnetic storms here on Earth that threaten infrastructure.

"We're working on using it… you have to face practical issues. One practical issue is timescale. If you want to be very fast (in predicting events), you have to accept being less accurate," said Dr Amari.

Dr Amari is involved in a project to understand the origin and propagation of CMEs through space, in an effort to improve predictions.

Follow Paul on Twitter.

Original Article

BBC

Related Articles

681 Comments

  1. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after going through some of the articles I realized it’s new
    to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely pleased I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking
    it and checking back regularly!

  2. Лента получила название “Matrix: Resurrections” (“Матрица: Воскрешения”) Матрица 4 2021 Дата начала проката в США: 22.12.2021. Оригинальное название: The Untitled Matrix Film.

  3. Премьера «Матрицы-4», которая, по слухам, называется «Воскрешение», выйдет на большие экраны 16 декабря 2021 года Матрица 4 kino Вся информация о фильме: дата выхода, трейлеры, фото, актеры.

  4. Психолог Онлайн. Консультация у психологов Консультация психолога в Киеве Услуги аналитического психолога, психотерапевта.
    Консультация по Skype. Психотерапия онлайн!
    Консультация по Skype. Цены на услуги и консультации
    психолога.

  5. Бокс: бій між Усиком та Джошуа офіційно санкціоновано WBO. Субота, 22 травня 2021, 23:48. 73084. Всесвітня боксерська організація (WBO) у п’ятницю офіційно санкціонувала бій між українцем Олександром Энтони Джошуа Александр Усик Рен ТВ Хей – про бій Усика і Джошуа | Бокс © Останні новини боксу

  6. I’d must test with you here. Which is not one thing I often do! I enjoy studying a publish that will make individuals think. Additionally, thanks for allowing me to remark!

  7. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem?

  8. I like what you guys are up also. Such smart work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site 🙂

  9. I and also my guys have already been checking out the best helpful tips from the website and then immediately developed a horrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the website owner for those strategies. All of the boys were definitely consequently warmed to study them and have pretty much been having fun with them. We appreciate you simply being simply kind as well as for choosing some great areas millions of individuals are really desperate to learn about. Our own sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to earlier.