Confirmed: magnetic waves cannot accelerate solar wind

Confirmed: magnetic waves cannot accelerate solar wind

A new scientific study has further deepened one of the longstanding mysteries of solar physics. For decades scientists have struggled to explain why the solar wind accelerates as it moves away from the Sun in defiance of gravity.

In more recent years, theorists have suggested that so-called transverse magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves could explain both the problems of solar wind acceleration and anomalous coronal heating. However, for the first time researchers using the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) have directly measured the transverse wave motions in solar-polar plumes.

They have found that the energies of the so-called magnetic waves fall four to ten times below the minimum requirement to explain the acceleration of the solar wind. Dr. Michael Clarage weighs in on this discussion.

Video courtesy of Thunderbolts Project

Tags: space news


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