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Solar Illusion

5 March 2022

At https://phys.org/news/2022-03-solar-illusion-coronal-loops.html … coronal loops are rope like strands of plasma that scientists think exist in the sun’s atmosphere. They may actually be optical illusions. A new paper challenges prevailing assumptions. The researchers created a 3D simulation of the solar corona which allowed them to slice the corona into distinct sections in an effort to isolate individual coronal loops. What they discovered was that many of the loops weren’t actually loops. Hence, they suggest they may actually be wrinkles of bright plasma in the solar atmosphere. As sheets of bright plasma fold over themselves, like pages of paper, the folds take on the appearance of bright thin lines, mimicking the look of distinct strands of plasma. This has significant implications for understanding the sun and how it might work. Coronal loops have been used for decades as a way to infer information about density, temperature, and other physical characteristics.

At https://phys.org/news/2022-03-powerful-neutron-star-rips-companion.html … concerns a binary system with a neutron star and its companion star. Powerful winds seem to be blowing from the neutron star, affecting its companion. Or that is the interpretation.

Image credit: Paul Stewart @ WikiMedia (public domain)

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