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:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016  Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: ... solutions, today announced sampling of S1423, its newest ... and small screen applications including smartwatches, fitness trackers, ... round and rectangular shapes, as well as thick ... with moisture on screen, while wearing gloves, and ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... , January 13, 2016 ... has published a new market report titled - Biometric Sensors ... and Forecast, 2015 - 2023. According to the report, the global ... and is anticipated to reach US$1,625.8 mn by 2023, ... 2023. In terms of volume, the biometric sensors market ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... 11, 2016  higi, the leading retail and ... locations, web and mobile, today announced it has ... existing investors. --> ... further innovate higi,s health platform – its network ... – including expanding services and programs to retail ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016 --> ... innovation-driven oncology company developing next generation cancer therapeutics ... announced that chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Limited, ... company as part of the first close of ... Navam Capital and Aarin Capital. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150923/766442 ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Feb. 8, 2016  BioElectronics Corporation (OTC Pink: ... announced today that it is responding to a ... the Securities and Exchange Commission posted on the ... Chairman of the Board of BioElectronics Corporation and ... Administration at The Fuqua School of Business, Duke ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... supplier of Semantic Graph Database technology, today announced the availability of AllegroGraph 6, ... Enterprise through the Cloudera Certified Technology Program (CCPT). AllegroGraph is the ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... DPLO) announced today that its new website has gone live. On Thursday, Feb. 4, the company ... Visit the new site: www.diplomat.is ... ... Diplomat ... "The goal was to reimagine the website and create a smarter, more comprehensive ...
Breaking Biology Technology: