The New Solar Telescope has revealed many mysteries revolving around solar surges the Sun at the Big Bear Solar Observatory. Using the new telescope and NASA’s IRIS spacecraft, researchers were able to produce clear and in-depth images of the high-speed plasma flowing throughout the Sun’s surface.
Reported on June 2, researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology announced the new data and images of the Sun’s complex plasma structure. The intriguing images display the Sun’s surface and its plasma eruptions that extend from the Sun’s outer-layer to its corona.
The high definition video shows 3D views of a sunspot which reveals rotating plasma rolls. The clear-cut imagery also reveals plasma eruptions and shocks that are caused by the solar-energy flux and powerful magnetic fields. This recent development explains that sunspots are much more complicated than previously thought.
For centuries, sunspots have puzzled researchers since their first discovery by Galileo more than 400 years ago. While scientists have a firm understanding that the sunspots are, in essence, large magnetic fields concentrated in one area, researchers have been hard-pressed to find out why they can last and remain stable for weeks at a time in an unstable environment.
Astronomers are exploring sunspots in order to understand the adverse effects the intense magnetic energy can have on Earth and other potential “life-forming” planets. Similar stars to the Sun have shared the same magnetic phenomena, some even more powerful. Researchers believe that these bursts of energy play a factor when it comes to the development of life on other planets.
The findings and footage were presented at the 224th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), held in Boston, Massachusetts.
New Solar Telescope Reveals Solar Surges Mysteries.