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Waves on the Sun

26 March 2022

At https://phys.org/news/2022-03-mysterious-sun-unexplained.html … researchers have discovered a mysterious type of wave in the Sun with an unexplained speed. They are being called high frequency retrograde [HFR] vorticity waves. They appear as swirling motions near the equator of the Sun. They move in the opposite direction to the rotation of the Sun, at a very fast rate of knots. See www.nature.com/articles/s41550-022-01632-z … for the full report.

At https://phys.org/news/2022-03-sun-solar-orbiter.html … we have ESAs Solar Orbiter mission – an update. Latest images are spectacular and shows the Sun in unprecedented detail. There is also a short video at the link above. Solar Orbiter is currently inside the orbit Mercury and is also recording data on the solar wind of particles that flow outwards from the Sun.

At https://phys.org/news/2022-03-tracking-sunspots.html … we have another interesting link about the Sun. The Solar Orbiter is observing targets of scientific interest which includes tracking dynamic activity such as moving sun spots. See also the European Space Agency website.

At https://phys.org/news/2022-03-magnetic-fields-gases-sun-turbulence.html … which is on the investigation of how magnetic fields heat gases on the Sun, to incredible temperatures. The target they choose to feed their supercomputer simulation are turbulence and wave theory – amongst others. The surface of the Sun starts at 6000 C but over a short distance, a few hundred km, it suddenly heats p to more than a million degrees C. This is the corona. Heat, gases, or plasma, escapes from the Sun as the solar wind. The sudden temperature jump in related to magnetic fields which thread out of the Sun’s surface. Exactly how these work to heat the gas is not well understood. If at all. Astrophysicists have several ideas on how magnetic field energy could be converted into heat but they don’t seem to match observations, it would appear. Surprisingly, there is no mention of electricity – the other half of electro-magnetism. Heating, it has been argued, is caused by turbulence or by magnetic waves,Still no electricity being generated. Supercomputer simulation of the coronal gas, or plasma, show the two ideas could well be part of a single process, linked together by ‘helicity barriers’ – a new words for a new process. The supercomputer stirred the post, or rather, some magnetic field lines, and first some turbulence and then waves popped out of the pot end, giving the impression a combination of both might be the explanation. Or is the simulation playing tricks, regurgitating what was fed in. Anyway, heating was observed, so it would appear. See more at www.nature.com/articles/s41550-022-00162-z … [different from the earlier link at the top].

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