Scientists discover waves in giant magnetic holes on Sun

Friday, February 25, 2011

WASHINGTON - Scientists from the University of Sheffield and Queen’s University Belfast have discovered giant magnetic holes on the surface of the Sun.he team of researchers has found large, dark regions, which look like holes on the Sun’s surface, mark out areas where the magnetic field breaks through from the Sun’s interior and rises into the solar atmosphere.

Professor Robertus von Fay-Siebenburgen studied a magnetic region of the Sun much smaller than a sunspot, however its size was still many times greater than the size of the UK.

Also known as a pore, the magnetic hole is able to channel energy generated deep inside the Sun, along the magnetic field to the Sun’s upper atmosphere.

The energy is transported in the form of ’sausage waves’. The magnetic hole is seen to increase and decrease in size periodically which is a characteristic feature of the sausage wave.

The experts hope that these giant magnetic holes will play an important role in unveiling the longstanding secrets behind solar coronal heating.

The finding could also help answer an age-old question - Why the temperature of the Sun’s atmosphere increases as we move further away from the centre of energy production, which lies under the surface.

Professor Robertus von Fay-Siebenburgen, said: “This is a fascinating new discovery in line with a number of discoveries made in recent years by the team. It is the first time that ’sausage waves´┐Ż have been detected in the Sun with such detail. Analysing these waves may bring us closer to understanding the physical mechanisms in the atmosphere of a star.”

The research was published this week in Astrophysical Journal. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

will not be displayed