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Solar Plasma Filament

17 November 2022
Astronomy, Electromagnetism

At https://phys.org/news/2022-11-video-solar-snake-slithering-sun.html … you’ve heard of slithering in the Harry Potter movies, here we have a video of a slithering snake of plasma that was seen to cross the face of the sun by the ESA probe on a close pass to the orb in the sky. It was also confirmed by the NASA Parker probe. ESAs Solar Orbiter spacecraft, said it was composed of a tube of cooler atmospheric gases snaking its way through the magnetic field of the Sun. It is in fact a tube of cooler plasma suspended by magnetic fields in the hotter surrounding plasma of the sun’s atmosphere – even though it seems to have originated in an active region of the sun.

Plasma is a state of matter in which a gas is so hot that it begins to lose particles, such as electrons. The gas is electrically charged, we are told, which seems to be telling us the sun has an electric dimension. This comes about, we are also told, because of the connection to the magnetic fields [an electrifying process one might say]. The tube of cooler plasma seems to have been following a long filament of the sun’s magnetic field – from one side of the sun to the other. IN spite of this the magnetic field itself is a twisted affair – hence, the slithering motion.

Robert sent in a link to the same post on PhysOrg while Gary sent in a link to https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1431279/ … which comes with some excellent images. We are also informed the Solar Orbiter also snapped another feature nicknamed ‘the hedgehog – which consists of multiple spikes of hot and colder plasma that reach out in all directions.

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