Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists "See" Through The Sun To Find Stormy Regions On The Other Side

Date:
March 13, 2000
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
A week's warning of potential bad weather in space is now possible thanks to a new use of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. Two astrophysicists supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) have developed a technique to image explosive regions on the far side of the sun, using ripples on the sun's surface to probe its interior.

A week's warning of potential bad weather in space is now possible thanks to a new use of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. Two astrophysicists supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) have developed a technique to image explosive regions on the far side of the sun, using ripples on the sun's surface to probe its interior.

"This is a major breakthrough in our ability to forecast solar storms that can affect us on earth," said Morris Aizenman of NSF's Astronomical Sciences Division.

Explosive regions on the sun are hidden until they rotate to the side of the sun visible from earth, giving little advance warning. The new imaging technique uses computer modeling developed since the early 1990s with support from NSF and observations taken with the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) on NASA's SOHO satellite to detect and locate these hidden solar storms.

"We've known for 10 years that in theory we could make the sun transparent all the way to the far side," said Charles Lindsey of Solar Physics Research Corp. in Tucson, Ariz. "But we needed observations of exceptional quality. In the end we got them, from MDI on SOHO." Lindsey and his colleague Douglas Braun of NorthWest Research Associates, Boulder, Colo., describe the research in the March 10 edition of Science.

Active regions on the sun are often the sites of spectacular explosive events, called solar flares, which are associated with eruptions of plasma (hot, electrically charged gas). The radiation and plasma from these events sweep past the earth and can disrupt spacecraft, radio communications and power systems. Scientists watch closely for these eruptions because modern systems are increasingly sensitive to solar disturbances. But experts can still be taken by surprise as the sun rotates, bringing hidden active regions into view.

To locate these regions in advance, the scientists developed a technique of using ripples on the sun's surface to image the interior. The ripples are caused by sound waves reverberating through the sun. Analysis of these solar sound waves, a science known as helioseismology, has opened the sun's gaseous interior to investigation in much the same way as seismologists learned to explore the earth's rocky interior through the analysis of earthquake waves.

Lindsey and Braun's technique examines sound waves that emanate from the far side of the sun and reach the near side by rebounding internally from the solar surface. They used observations from MDI taken on March 28-29, 1998, to detect a group of sunspots on the far side of the sun that was not visible on the near side until 10 days later.

SOHO is a cooperative project between the European Space Agency and NASA. The far-side helioseismology research was funded by NSF and NASA.

Editors: Images are available at: http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/soho/ssu/rightthrough.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Scientists "See" Through The Sun To Find Stormy Regions On The Other Side." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000313081628.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2000, March 13). Scientists "See" Through The Sun To Find Stormy Regions On The Other Side. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000313081628.htm
National Science Foundation. "Scientists "See" Through The Sun To Find Stormy Regions On The Other Side." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000313081628.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) The smallest of Saturn's main moons, Mimas, wobbles as it orbits. Research reveals it might be due to a global ocean underneath its icy surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Comet Set for Rare Close Shave With Mars

Comet Set for Rare Close Shave With Mars

AFP (Oct. 16, 2014) A fast-moving comet is about to shave by Mars for a once-in-a-million-years encounter that a flurry of spacecraft around the Red Planet hope to capture and photograph, NASA said. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins