According to a study that can influence the understanding of the Sun's atmosphere and its impact on Earth, the sun's magnetic field is ten times stronger than previously thought.
From the Swedish 1 meter solar telescope at Roque de los Muchachos The Observatory in the Canary Islands, David Kuridze, Research Fellow at Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom, studied a particularly strong solar flare that was near on 10 September 2017 the sun's surface erupted.
A combination of favorable conditions and an element of luckily, the team was able to determine the strength of the flare's magnetic field with unprecedented accuracy.
The researchers believe that the results may change the understanding of the processes in the immediate atmosphere of the Sun.
"Everything that happens In the outer atmosphere of the sun, the magnetic field is dominated, but we have very few measurements of its strength and its spatial properties," said Kuridze.
"These are critical parameters that are most important to the physics of the solar corona." Is a bit like trying to understand the Earth's climate without being able to measure temperature at different geographic locations, "he said. 1
Solar flares appear as bright flashes and kick when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is released suddenly.
So far, the magnetic field has been measured successfully, hampered by the weakness of the solar atmosphere signal reaching Earth, and information about the magnetic field and limitations of available instrumentation.
The magnetic fields reported in this study are similar to those of a typical K refrigerator magnet 100 times weaker than the magnetic field of an MRI scanner.
However, they are still responsible for the constriction of solar plasma, which contains solar flares that are up to 20,000 km above the Sun's surface.
Over Kuridze reviewed a 10-day period in September 2017 and investigated an active area on the sun's surface that the team knew was particularly unstable.
at one point on one percent of the solar surface. Fortunately, Kuridze was focused on just the right area and at the right time when the solar flare broke out.
These solar flares can lead to storms that, when they strike the Earth, form the Northern Lights – the Aurora Borealis.
You can also interfere with communications satellites and GPS systems, as was the case on this occasion in September 2017.
"This is a unique set of observations that first provides a detailed map of the magnetic field in coronal loops," said Michail Mathioudakis, Queen's University of Belfast, who also collaborated on the project.
"This highly rewarding result was achieved through the dedication and perseverance of our early career scientists, who observed that the methodology used and the outcome itself will open new avenues in solar corona research," said Mathioudakis.