Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Structure Of The Sun's Magnetic Field

Date:
March 25, 2007
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
Hinode, the newest solar observatory on the space scene, has obtained never-before-seen images showing that the sun's magnetic field is much more turbulent and dynamic than previously known. Hinode, Japanese for 'sunrise', was launched on 23 September 2006 to study the sun's magnetic field and how its explosive energy propagates through the different layers of the solar atmosphere.

This image of the solar 'chromosphere' was obtained on on 20 November 2006 by the Hinode solar observatory, and reveals the structure of the solar magnetic field rising vertically from a sunspot (an area of strong magnetic field), outward into the solar atmopshere. The chromosphere a thin 'layer' of solar atmosphere 'sandwiched' between the sun's visible surface (or photosphere) and its outer atmosphere (or corona). The chromosphere is the source of ultra violet radiation.
Credit: Hinode JAXA/NASA/PPARC

Hinode, the newest solar observatory on the space scene, has obtained never-before-seen images showing that the sun's magnetic field is much more turbulent and dynamic than previously known.

Hinode, Japanese for 'sunrise', was launched on 23 September 2006 to study the sun's magnetic field and how its explosive energy propagates through the different layers of the solar atmosphere.

"For the first time, we are now able to make out tiny granules of hot gas that rise and fall in the sun's magnified atmosphere," said Dick Fisher, director of NASA's Heliophysics Division. "These images will open up a new era of study on some of the sun's processes that effect Earth, astronauts, orbiting satellites and the solar system."

Hinode's three primary instruments, the Solar Optical Telescope, the X-ray Telescope and the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer, are observing the different layers of the sun. Studies focus on the solar atmosphere from the photosphere - the visible surface of the sun, to the corona - the outer atmosphere that extends outward into the solar system.

Thanks to coordinated measurements from the three instruments, Hinode is already showing how changes in the structure of the magnetic field and the release of magnetic energy in the low atmosphere spread outward through the corona and into interplanetary space.

"The release of magnetic energy is at the base of space weather," says Bernhard Fleck, ESA's SOHO and Hinode Project Scientist. "Complementing the SOHO data with those of Hinode will allow us to improve our understanding of the violent processes on the Sun that drive space storms. The synergies between the two missions will clearly boost our space weather forecasting capabilities."

Space weather involves the production of energetic particles and the emissions of electromagnetic radiation. These bursts of energy can black out long-distance communications over entire continents and disrupt the global navigational system.

"Hinode images are revealing irrefutable evidence for the presence of turbulence-driven processes that are bringing magnetic fields, on all scales, to the sun's surface, resulting in an extremely dynamic chromosphere or gaseous envelope around the sun," said Alan Title, a corporate senior fellow at Lockheed Martin, Palo Alto, California, and consulting professor of physics at Stanford University, Stanford, California.

By following the evolution of the solar structures that outline the magnetic field before, during and after these explosive events, scientists hope to find clear evidence to establish that magnetic reconnection – a process whereby magnetic field lines from different magnetic domains are spliced to one another and cause a reconfiguration of the magnetic field - is the underlying cause for this explosive activity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Structure Of The Sun's Magnetic Field." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070323132406.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2007, March 25). Structure Of The Sun's Magnetic Field. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070323132406.htm
European Space Agency. "Structure Of The Sun's Magnetic Field." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070323132406.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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