Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Angry Sun: Stereo And Hinode Watch Explosions In The Solar Corona

Date:
April 23, 2007
Source:
Royal Astronomical Society
Summary:
Although the Sun is a benevolent provider of warmth and comfort, it also has a very angry side. Solar outbursts cause inclement space weather that sometimes wrecks havoc on technological systems on which our society is progressively more dependent.

A coronal mass ejection (CME) reaching halfway from the Sun to the Earth, shown in a composite image from the 5 different telescopes of the SECCHI instrument package on the STEREO mission. Previous CME observations were limited to the vicinity of the Sun (square section at left), but we can now track CMEs all the way to the Earth, where they cause damaging space weather. The picture is grainy because CMEs are extremely faint far from the Sun - a million billion times fainter than the solar surface (a one followed by 15 zeros)! This is darker than the darkest night sky. Mercury and Venus can be seen at the bottom left of the image.
Credit: Image courtesy of Royal Astronomical Society

Although the Sun is a benevolent provider of warmth and comfort, it also has a very angry side. Solar outbursts cause inclement space weather that sometimes wrecks havoc on technological systems on which our society is progressively more dependent. In a plenary talk at the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting in Preston, Dr James Klimchuk of the Naval Research Laboratory in the USA presented the latest results from the STEREO and Hinode spacecraft, two missions that have been studying the Sun for the last few months.

Related Articles


STEREO is a NASA-led mission with substantial participation by scientists from the UK and other European countries. It consists of two spacecraft watching the Sun from different vantage points, that will eventually allow astronomers look at the whole of the region between the Sun and the Earth for the first time and eventually allow them to construct 3D images of the Sun. Hinode is a Japanese mission with collaboration from scientists in the US and UK. It orbits the Earth in a path that gives the probe a continuous view of the Sun.

One of the key objectives of the two missions is to study solar outbursts. These involve the sudden release of energy stored in the magnetic fields of the corona, the hot material that makes up the outer atmosphere of the Sun. The smallest events or nanoflares heat the corona to a temperature of millions of degrees and cause the emission of X-ray and ultra-violet radiation that changes the upper atmosphere of the Earth. The largest Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are spectacular and can cause storms in the Earth's magnetic field.

Together, STEREO and Hinode give astronomers the ability to watch CMEs all the way from the Sun to the Earth. Scientists can watch their evolution as they interact with the outflow of particles from the Sun (the solar wind) en-route to our planet. CMEs are the most dramatic 'space weather' events and can cause damage to technological systems such as power grids and communication and navigation networks. The severity of the impact of a CME depends on how it changes as it makes the journey across the inner Solar system and the new missions allow astronomers to better understand how these outbursts evolve.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Royal Astronomical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Royal Astronomical Society. "The Angry Sun: Stereo And Hinode Watch Explosions In The Solar Corona." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070419132351.htm>.
Royal Astronomical Society. (2007, April 23). The Angry Sun: Stereo And Hinode Watch Explosions In The Solar Corona. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070419132351.htm
Royal Astronomical Society. "The Angry Sun: Stereo And Hinode Watch Explosions In The Solar Corona." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070419132351.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely docks with the International Space Station, according to NASA. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Multi-National Crew Safely Docks at Space Station

Multi-National Crew Safely Docks at Space Station

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz rocket delivers a multi-national trio to the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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