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Magnetic Sun Produces Hot Hot Heat
ScienceNOW ^ | 23 January 2013 | Sid Perkins

Posted on 02/02/2013 10:17:37 PM PST by neverdem

Enlarge Image
sn-corona.jpg
A picture of heat. A high-resolution image of the solar atmosphere at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths (right) reveals details of magnetic processes (middle and lower left; bright features denote intense energy release) likely providing much of the energy that heats the corona to temperatures ranging from 2 million°C to 4 million°C. The upper-left image denotes a region seen in close-up at right.
Credit: Amy Winebarger/MSFC/NASA

If you thought the exterior of the sun was hot, check out its corona. Although our star's visible surface is less than 6000°C, its atmosphere blazes at up to 4 million°C. Now, thanks to a telescope briefly boosted high above Earth by a small rocket, astronomers have found evidence of long-theorized magnetic processes that could help explain these blistering temperatures.

One reason the sun's corona is so much hotter than its surface is comes down to a phenomenon known as wave heating, in which sound waves originating at the surface travel up through the corona. There, friction among the particles boosts the temperature, says Jonathan Cirtain, a solar physicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. But wave heating provides only enough energy to heat the corona to about 1.5 million°C, he notes. And although most solar physicists agree that interactions among the sun's magnetic field lines play a role in heating the corona, those processes haven't been observed directly.

Now, Cirtain and his colleagues have gathered strong evidence to support the notion of a different kind of heating: magnetic heating. The team's 3.2-meter-long, 210-kilogram camera-and-telescope combo rode a rocket into space above southern New Mexico on 11 July last year, observing the sun in a narrow band of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths that is normally blocked by Earth's atmosphere. The researchers targeted that band because one particular type of atom emits radiation in that range—an iron atom in which 11 of its normal complement of 26 electrons have been stripped away, also known as Fe XII. Although those highly charged ions exist most often at a temperature of about 1.5 million°C, data simultaneously gathered from other Earth-orbiting instruments provide information about material at even higher temperatures, Cirtain says.

The team's telescope could spot features in the solar atmosphere that were only 150 kilometers across—the same resolution as being able to discern a dime at a distance of 6 km, and a sixfold improvement over instruments now orbiting Earth. And although the telescope stayed above our planet's atmosphere for only 5 minutes and was focused on only 3% of the sun's surface, it observed two different episodes where magnetic field lines strongly interacted to produce Fe XII in large quantities. In those episodes, the bending and flexing of magnetic field lines released enough energy to boost temperatures nearby to as much as 7 million°C. Such events, which likely occur on a near-continual basis in magnetically active regions of the sun's surface, provide a substantial source of heating to the whole corona, the researchers report online today in Nature.

"The new findings are a tantalizing glimpse of what is possible with such an instrument," says Peter Cargill, a solar physicist at Imperial College London. Although the small-scale details of what's going on in the solar corona are still unclear, the new findings provide data that researchers can use to test old hypotheses and develop new ones, he notes.

The team's images provide "stunning detail, but only for a few minutes," adds Karel Schrijver, a solar physicist at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, California. Now that researchers have proven that such observations are possible, he notes, a next step might be to develop a similar instrument to orbit Earth full-time and gather data to complement the low-resolution images of the entire sun being taken by other sensors.

Cargill emphatically agrees: "It is insane not to fly such an instrument on any future mission to look at the solar corona."



TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; climate; corona; olivermanuel; physics; solarphysics; stringtheory

1 posted on 02/02/2013 10:17:49 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Nope. It's gotta be our fault the sun gets hotter.

2 posted on 02/02/2013 10:21:47 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: neverdem

The corona is hot, but it’s also very rarefied, so it does not represent a great reservoir of energy. When they mention magnetism, it makes me think this is some sort of compression process where the magnetic field puts the squeeze on some trapped plasma and shoots it up into the corona. Hey, great theory, I like it.


3 posted on 02/02/2013 10:29:47 PM PST by dr_lew
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4 posted on 02/02/2013 10:49:31 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: 6SJ7; AdmSmith; AFPhys; Arkinsaw; allmost; aristotleman; autumnraine; Beowulf; Bones75; BroJoeK; ...

Thanks neverdem.

· String Theory Ping List ·
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5 posted on 02/02/2013 10:51:26 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...

Thanks neverdem.


6 posted on 02/02/2013 10:51:50 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: 6SJ7; AdmSmith; AFPhys; Arkinsaw; allmost; aristotleman; autumnraine; Beowulf; Bones75; BroJoeK; ...

Thanks neverdem.

· String Theory Ping List ·
Cat Physicist
· Join · Bookmark · Topics · Google ·
· View or Post in 'blog · post a topic · subscribe ·


7 posted on 02/02/2013 10:52:07 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Great references. Dr. Manuel was dept chair and on my committee when I went to UMR. He was quite a character.


8 posted on 02/02/2013 11:21:44 PM PST by colinhester
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To: neverdem

I am getting 40 meter shortwave like gang busters in the AM and 30 meter is booming at night


9 posted on 02/02/2013 11:59:48 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem

10 posted on 02/03/2013 7:18:16 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: mylife
*** I am getting 40 meter shortwave like gang busters in the AM and 30 meter is booming at night ***

Not that I know what it means [gotta be Ham Radio stuff, right :-)]But there's been a a lot of 'static' (squelch) over the Chi PD Radio Frequencies for a while now. More than should be normal. However per SpaceWeather.com there shouldn't be any of this new 'static' as there's no solar flares or sunspot activity and the solar wind is normal.

There's nothing in space to cause this 'static' on the CPD Radio Bands. Yet it's there?? Previously when no cops were talking 'the carrier wave' was silent, no squelch. (think I phrased that correctly?). And now, even when the Cops are talking there's some 'noise'. At times, it's 100% unlistenable.

Don't have a receiver, SW Radio, I listen online.

11 posted on 02/03/2013 7:44:30 AM PST by Condor51 (Si vis pacem, para bellum.)
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To: neverdem

The old mystery seems to be on the verge of unraveling.
And once again, nature may be showing us the way: If a 6000°C plasma and some, as yet, not fully understood magnetic process can drive temperatures up to several million degrees, you’ve got to sit up and take notice. A complete understanding could, conceivably, point the way to controlled fusion.


12 posted on 02/03/2013 8:16:20 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: neverdem
Good Lord ! Thats HOT !


13 posted on 02/03/2013 8:35:31 AM PST by Delta 21 (Oh Crap !! Did I say that out loud ??!??)
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To: neverdem

It’s hotter in my attic than in my basement.


14 posted on 02/03/2013 8:40:32 AM PST by Starstruck (All goverments become tyrannical. Individuals determine when they do.)
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To: colinhester

He has an energetic vibe I think, but of course, there were some allegations about his private life.


15 posted on 02/03/2013 8:49:09 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: neverdem

Scientists need to recall that iron loses its magnetism abot 770 degrees C. The extreme heat of the corona will not be explained by “magnetic reconnection”, a phenomena that has not been repeated in the laboratory and remains the theoretical result of mathematical modeling, not reality. Astronomers will one day come to the correct conclusion that the sun is electrical in nature, a ball of plasma powered by the galactic Birkland Currents which comprise the spiral arms. 99% of all matter in the universe is in the plasma state and where you have plasma you have electricity and when you have electricity, you have magnetism.

Birkland Currents pinch and self-organize due to the magnetism they create. At high current levels, they Z-pinch into nodes and that is where star formation actually occurs. Planetary disk accretion cannot account for the hundreds of anomalies in the Solar System that are swept under the rug, whereas the electrical model can account for those anomalies.

www.thunderbolts.info


16 posted on 02/03/2013 9:34:01 AM PST by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: colinhester

Unfortunately, he was virtually laughed off of Phys.org by commenters who thought he was wacky. They didn’t believe NASA would have worked with him on anything.

He has (or had) a web site with his research on it that was interesting.


17 posted on 02/03/2013 5:24:05 PM PST by ConservativeMind ("Humane" = "Don't pen up pets or eat meat, but allow infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia.")
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To: SunkenCiv
"...4 million°C... blistering temperature."

Blistering? That may be an understatement. ;-)

18 posted on 02/03/2013 6:37:37 PM PST by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady

PABA 40 million.


19 posted on 02/04/2013 8:05:18 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui; Swordmaker

Thanks Yollopoliuhqui.


20 posted on 02/04/2013 8:13:10 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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oliver manuel
Google

21 posted on 02/04/2013 8:19:39 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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Here's a link to his website, using the title page photo; note his personalized license plate:

Oliver Manuel

22 posted on 02/04/2013 8:22:53 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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http://www.thesunisiron.com/


23 posted on 02/04/2013 8:45:01 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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http://www.thesurfaceofthesun.com/


24 posted on 02/04/2013 8:45:41 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Sounds a bit pricey, but I’m sure it’s a hot product.


25 posted on 02/05/2013 9:30:03 AM PST by TheOldLady
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