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Study of slow explosions could revolutionize the science of the Sun

Study of slow explosions could revolutionize the science of the Sun
Study of slow explosions could revolutionize the science of the Sun
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As the peak of activity approaches, the Sun has released increasingly numerous and powerful explosions of accumulated magnetic energy – the famous solar eruptions, of which the public of Digital Look He’s very used to getting news.

About solar flares:

  • They reach temperatures of up to 10 million degrees Kelvin;
  • They can last from a few minutes to a few hours;
  • They are capable of producing incredible effects here on Earth, such as the formation of auroras at the ends of the globe;
  • However, the consequences of solar flares can also be negative;
  • Among the problems caused by these events are interference in communication systems, affecting everything from radio transmissions to satellites in orbit;
  • In extreme cases, blackouts may even occur.

Slow-growing solar flares

New research, led by Aravind Bharathi Valluvan, a graduate student in astrophysics at the University of California-San Diego, USA, reveals intriguing details about these explosions. Published in the scientific journal Solar Physicsthe study focuses on slow-growing solar flares, a type that has previously been little explored.

Unlike fast explosions, which emit their energy quickly and gradually dissipate it, slow-growing eruptions take longer to accumulate energy and also to release it. While fast bursts follow a 1:4 ratio (one minute to rise, four to dissipate), slow bursts can follow a 1:1 ratio.

Based on data from the solar X-ray monitor aboard India’s Chandrayaan-2 lunar orbiter, the research revealed more than 1,400 slow-growing flares, a number significantly higher than expected. Previously, only about 100 such events had been observed.

This discovery challenges previous concepts about solar flares, which were often compared to the cracking of a whip, injecting energy quickly before slowly dissipating. Now seeing slow-building bursts in such high quantities could change that thinking.

“There is exciting work to be done here,” Valluvan said. “We have identified two different types of outbreaks, but there may be more. And where do the processes differ? What makes them rise and fall at different rates? This is something we need to understand.”


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Study slow explosions revolutionize science Sun

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