Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medical X-ray Technique Unveils The Sun's Corona

Date:
April 4, 2008
Source:
Royal Astronomical Society
Summary:
A medical X-ray technique has been adapted to produce the first detailed map of the structure of the Sun's outermost layer, the corona, created from direct observations. Tomography, a technique with multiple medical applications including CAT scans, uses a series of images taken from many different angles to reconstruct a 3-dimensional map of a patient's body.

This image shows the reconstructed corona using the QSRT technique.
Credit: Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii

A medical X-ray technique has been adapted to produce the first detailed map of the structure of the Sun’s outermost layer, the corona, created from direct observations.

Tomography, a technique with multiple medical applications including CAT scans, uses a series of images taken from many different angles to reconstruct a 3-dimensional map of a patient’s body.

"This is a breakthrough for scientists trying to understand the corona and the solar wind. We’ve been attempting to apply tomography to the solar corona for more than 30 years but it’s proved very difficult and very inaccurate until now. The new technique that I’ve developed is only in its infancy but shows great potential for areas of research like space weather," said Dr Morgan, of the University of Aberystwyth.

In applying tomography to the Sun, scientists have been faced by two major problems: firstly, they can’t see through the Sun to measure the corona on the far side, therefore nearly half their data is ‘missing’. Secondly, the outermost areas of the corona are more than a thousand times fainter than the regions near the Sun, which introduces huge potential errors to observations.

Dr Morgan has found a new way of processing coronal images, called Qualitative Solar Rotational Tomography (QSRT), to eliminate the steep drop in brightness and associated errors. He has then applied the technique to a series of images taken with the SOHO spacecraft’s LASCO instrument, so that the whole of the corona is mapped as the Sun’s rotation brings the ‘missing’ areas into view. The maps are 5 times more detailed than previous tomographical studies of the Sun and Morgan believes that they have the potential for 20 times better resolution in the future.

"I’ve now produced maps of the corona over almost a whole cycle of solar activity, so we can now see in unprecedented detail how structures develop and evolve in three-dimensions. The maps have produced some interesting results: for instance we’ve observed large areas of dense structures when the Sun is most active that are not predicted by current computer models. We’ve also found evidence that inner regions of the corona rotate at different speeds."

The technique is already being used by scientists at the Institute of Maths and Physics at Aberystwyth University to interpret their radio-wave observations of the solar wind. Dr Morgan, together with colleagues at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, is also using the maps to interpret ultraviolet observations of the corona.

The results will be presented by Dr Huw Morgan at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Belfast on Tuesday 1st April.


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. "Medical X-ray Technique Unveils The Sun's Corona." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080401154506.htm>.
Royal Astronomical Society. (2008, April 4). Medical X-ray Technique Unveils The Sun's Corona. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080401154506.htm
Royal Astronomical Society. "Medical X-ray Technique Unveils The Sun's Corona." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080401154506.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Hello Georges

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

NASA (Aug. 18, 2014) — Europe's ATV-5 delivers new science and the crew tests smart SPHERES. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) — The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

NASA (Aug. 15, 2014) — Carbon Observatory’s First Data, ATV-5 Delivers Cargo, Cygnus Departs Station and more... Video provided by NASA
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