Huge Magnetic 'Ropes' Drive Powerful Sun Explosions Tags: Sun activity Solar Flares Science Space

Huge Magnetic 'Ropes' Drive Powerful Sun Explosions

By Charles Q. Choi, Contributor   |   October 22, 2014 ShortURL

View of a typical solar eruption using data from NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory spacecraft. Earth depicted for scale.
Credit: Tahar Amari/Centre de physique théorique, CNRS-Ecole Polytechnique, France

Eruptions on the sun's surface are probably caused by giant, unstable magnetic plasma arches, a new study reports — a discovery that brings scientists one step closer to predicting solar outbursts that can wreak havoc on Earth.

Astronomers have long observed gigantic arches of plasma emerging from the surface of the sun. Known as magnetic flux ropes, coronal loops and solar prominences, these structures possess spiraling magnetic field lines, as if a huge bar magnet had been twisted into a corkscrew. A vast amount of electric current typically runs through the core of each of these tubes.

Scientists have long thought magnetic flux ropes drive powerful solar explosions such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which can spawn geomagnetic storms that damage satellites in space and disrupt power grids on Earth. [The Sun's Wrath: Worst Solar Storms in History]




Let us See...(Comet 67P) Tags: Comets Stardust Thunderbolts project Space

Published on 21 Oct 2014 by ThunderboltsProject

What do you see? The images on your screen are of a dirty snowball. At least, that is the story that scientists and educators have promoted to our youngsters for roughly half a century. Do you believe what you’ve been taught, or do you believe what you see?

PDF of NASA's comet page for educators:

Previous Space News on Rosetta mission:

Full length documentary: The Electric Comet

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Did Siding Spring Discharge with Mars? Tags: Comet Siding Spring

Published on 20 Oct 2014

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