Navigation Links
Solar flares set the Sun quaking
Date:4/18/2008

Data from the ESA/NASA spacecraft SOHO shows clearly that powerful starquakes ripple around the Sun in the wake of mighty solar flares that explode above its surface. The observations give solar physicists new insight into a long-running solar mystery and may even provide a way of studying other stars.

The outermost quarter of the Suns interior is a constantly churning maelstrom of hot gas. Turbulence in this region causes ripples that criss-cross the solar surface, making it heave up and down in a patchwork pattern of peaks and troughs.

The joint ESA-NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has proved to be an exceptional spacecraft for studying this phenomenon. Discovering how the ripples move around the Sun has provided valuable information about the Suns interior conditions. A class of oscillations called the 5-minute oscillations with a frequency of around 3 millihertz have proven particularly useful.

According to conventional thinking, the 5-minute oscillations can be thought of as the sound you would get from a bell sitting in the middle of the desert and constantly being touched by random sand grains, blown on the wind. But what Christoffer Karoff and Hans Kjeldsen, both at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, saw in the data, was very different.

The signal we saw was like someone occasionally walking up to the bell and striking it, which told us that there was something missing from our understanding of how the Sun works, Karoff says.

So they began looking for the culprit and discovered an unexpected correlation with solar flares. It seemed that when the number of solar flares went up, so did the strength of the 5-minute oscillations.

The strength of the correlation was so strong that there can be no doubt about it, says Karoff.

A similar phenomenon is known on Earth in the aftermath of large earthquakes. For example, after the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake, the whole Earth rang with seismic waves like a vibrating bell for several weeks.

The correlation is not the end of the story. Now the researchers have to work to understand the mechanism by which the flares cause the oscillations. We are not completely sure how the solar flares excite the global oscillations, says Karoff.

In a broader context, the correlation suggests that, by looking for similar oscillations within other stars, astronomers can monitor them for flares. Already, Karoff has used high-technology instruments at major ground-based telescopes to look at other Sun-like stars. In several cases, he detected the tell-tale signs of oscillations that might originate from flares.

Now we need to monitor these stars for hundreds of days, he says. That will require dedicated spacecraft, such as the CNES mission with ESA participation, COROT. The hard work, it seems, is just starting.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bernhard Fleck
bfleck@esa.nascom.nasa.gov
301-286-4098
European Space Agency
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Nanotech could make solar energy as easy and cheap as growing grass
2. Smarter energy storage for solar and wind power
3. Hinode: new insights on the origin of solar wind
4. Nanowires hold promise for more affordable solar cells
5. Telecom research leads to solar cell breakthrough
6. Substantial improvement in essential cheap solar cell process
7. The future of solar-powered houses is clear
8. Popcorn-ball design doubles efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/7/2016)...  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union ... integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into ... result in greater convenience for SACU members and ... existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016   The Weather Company ... announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will ... being able to ask questions via voice or text and ... Marketers have long sought an ... consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to ... display is the latest premium product recently added to the range of products distributed ... ... ... Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... Georgia (PRWEB) , ... December 05, 2016 , ... ... lignin-coated nanocellulose, including both cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose nanofibrils. The composition claims ... There are also claims directed to combination with polymers, carbon fibers, graphene, ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... 5, 2016  Renova™ Therapeutics, a biotechnology company ... and other chronic diseases, announced that Catherine ... Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective today. ... of experience in financial management for a variety ... companies. Most recently, Ms. Bovenizer was the Vice ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... NEW YORK , December 5, 2016 ... Biotech player worldwide, with almost $108 billion of revenue ... around $170 billion were spent on global biopharmaceuticals, and ... 2017. This morning, Stock-Callers.com has lined up these four ... NWBO ), ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... soon resume cervical and lumbar disc production, company President, Jake Lubinski will be ... are implanting the AxioMed disc in Bern, Lucerne, and Zurich to discuss the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: