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Tiny jets on the Sun feed the colossal solar wind




Tstreams of charged particles are continuously blasted from the solar atmosphere and radiated outward at millions of kilometers per hour, creating a solar wind so powerful that its limit defines the outer edge of our solar system.

Despite the enormous distribution of this wind, its formation has long remained a mystery. Now, a new analysis claims that the solar wind is fed by a collective set of discontinuous small-scale jet eruptions in the solar corona, or outer layer. “The idea is similar to how the individual sounds of applause in the audience turn into a continuous roar when the audience applauds,” he said. Craig DeForestsolar physicist at the Southwestern Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and co-author of the study.

Although scientists already knew that the corona is home to small plumes that typically last a few minutes, they had previously found only a small number of them, mostly at the base of plumes emerging from cooler, less dense regions of the corona known as coronal holes. .

A new study shows they are ubiquitous. “Once you know how to find them, you will see that they are constantly present in almost every structure of the crown,” said the co-author. Dan Seatona solar physicist who also works at the Southwestern Research Institute.

The team found that the jets, each 1,000 to 3,000 kilometers wide, are present even during solar minimum, the least active phase of the Sun’s 11-year cycle – a result that is consistent with the pervasive nature of the solar wind. “You can randomly select any day and the jets will be there like solar wind,” he said. Nur Rawafisolar physicist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and lead author of the study.

In an article presenting new findings, published earlier this year in the journal Astrophysical JournalThe team provides evidence that the jets are ignited by a process called magnetic reconnection, which heats and accelerates the plasma of charged particles. The researchers speculate that the jets then produce waves that heat up the corona and allow the plasma to escape the Sun’s gravity and coalesce to form the solar wind.

“The numbers look promising and show that it is indeed quite possible that jets could deliver the mass lost by the sun to the solar wind,” he said. Charles Kankelborga solar physicist at Montana State University who was not involved in the study.


The idea that small-scale discontinuous events can collectively drive the solar wind goes back to the work of Eugene Parker, a solar physics pioneer who died last year. In 1988, he suggested that a “nanoflare swarm” propelled by tiny flashes of magnetic reconnection could heat the corona to the point of propelling the wind.

In body image
LOOK AT THE SUN: Astrophotographers Andrew McCarthy and Jason Genzel created this image from over 90,000 individual photographs taken with a specially modified solar telescope. Credit: Andrew McCarthy and Jason Genzel.

However, finding evidence for this small-scale reconnection has proven difficult due to the low resolution of magnetic measurements.

For the new study, the researchers examined high-resolution images from a variety of sources, including those from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. GOES-R satellites— best known as meteorological satellites — and the Goode Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Solar Observatory. They found that regions of the corona that previously appeared to be devoid of magnetic flux were in fact filled with complex magnetic fields. The team was also able to link several aircraft to specific reunion events. The researchers expect that magnetic field data, even at a finer scale, could reveal higher reconnection and jet rates.

The team went on to suggest that the jets create a special type of wave called Alfvén waves that heat up the corona. Alfvén waves were seen as a competing mechanism that could explain the solar wind. But there is a growing consensus that these processes can work together. “The global presence of these reunion-induced jets provides a natural explanation for both the reunion and the Alfvén waves powering the solar wind,” he said. Judith Karpensolar physicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

The researchers expect upcoming efforts to uncover coronal processes in unprecedented detail. They are looking forward to newer telescopes such as the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope at the National Solar Observatory, as well as solar orbitera joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency launched in 2020.

“It could turn out that the emission spectrum goes from relatively large events to Parker nanoflares on the smallest scales,” Rawafi said.

And jets can be associated with large-scale events on the Sun, such as flares and coronal mass ejections. Ji Zhang, solar physicist at George Mason University. “Small-scale eruptions may play a role in transforming magnetic configurations into more coherent large-scale structures that can store large amounts of energy before an eruption,” he said.

So far, new aircraft finds have confirmed the legacy of Parker and his contemporaries. “Here are some observations 30 years later that they were probably correct,” Kankelborg said.

This article has been originally published on Quantum abstractions blog.

Featured image: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory took an ultraviolet image of the erupting flare. Credit: NASA

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Peter Thiel says he freezes his body after death, but ‘not sure if it works’



Earlier this week, Thiel confessed to journalist Bari Weiss here is a podcast that he was paid to cryonic freeze his body after his death – in the hope that he could be resurrected if and when future generations find a solution to what would cause his future death.

However, he added the following caveat: “I think about it more than an ideological statement” before adding that he “[doesn’t] definitely expect it to work.”

Still, he thinks, “this is what we should try to do.”

Thiel’s decision to freeze his afterlife is not new. hello first The Telegraph mentioned it in 2014, stating that “People have a choice: accept death, deny it, or fight it.”

I think our society is dominated by people who deny or accept, and I prefer to fight that.”

NBC News It is estimated that a full body freeze costs around $200,000, while you can just freeze your head for as little as $80,000.

You can hear Thiel laying out his plans for the future on the ice below.

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Study: Giraffes can make decisions based on statistical information



In a new study at the Barcelona Zoo, researchers tested whether giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis), despite their smaller relative brain size, can rely on relative frequencies to predict sample outcomes.

The post “Research: Giraffes can make decisions based on statistical information” first appeared on Sci.News: Breaking Science News.

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The first lunar eclipse of 2023 slightly overshadowed the full moon



Stargazers in Asia and Australia got the best seats for this year’s first lunar eclipse.

The four-hour eclipse began late Friday evening or early Saturday, depending on the location, as the Moon slipped into the edge of the Earth’s shadow.

During the so-called penumbral lunar eclipse, the full moon passed in the outer part of the earth’s shadow, due to which the moon only slightly dimmed. Such an eclipse is not as dramatic as a partial lunar eclipse or a total lunar eclipse when the Moon, Earth and Sun are perfectly aligned.

The eclipse was visible from beginning to end, weather permitting, as far west as Saudi Arabia and the west coast of Africa, as far east as Japan and the South Island of New Zealand, and from the South Pole to Siberia. Almost all of Europe also took part in some of the activities.

V virtual telescope project showed a live feed of moonrise over the countryside in Tuscany, Italy.

“Even subtle astronomical events like this give me excitement and joy when I share them,” astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, founder of the project, wrote in an email.

The next lunar eclipse in October will show the best.

The eastern portions of the Americas will see at least part of a partial lunar eclipse as part but not all of the Moon passes through Earth’s dark central shadow. Asia, Africa and Europe will apply to the entire show.

A total lunar eclipse is not expected until 2025, when North America and the western half of South America take front row seats.


The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science and Education Media Group. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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