New phenomena discovered on the Sun

New phenomena discovered on the Sun

A new Sun-observing mission led by ESA and NASA -- Solar Orbiter -- has returned its first images of the Sun, revealing previously unknown omnipresent miniature solar flares, dubbed 'campfires.'

The campfires shown in the image below were captured by the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) from Solar Orbiter’s first perihelion, the point in its elliptical orbit closest to the Sun.

At that time, the spacecraft was only 77 million km (47 million miles) away from the Sun, about half the distance between Earth and the Sun.

New phenomena discovered on the Sun

Image credit: Solar Orbiter/EUI Team/ESA & NASA; CSL, IAS, MPS, PMOD/WRC, ROB, UCL/MSSL

The campfires are little relatives of the solar flares that we can observe from Earth.

"The Sun might look quiet at the first glance, but when we look in detail, we can see those miniature flares everywhere we look," said David Berghmans of the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB), Principal Investigator of the EUI instrument, which takes high-resolution images of the solar corona.

The scientists do not know yet whether the campfires are just tiny versions of big flares, or whether they are driven by different mechanisms. There are, however, already theories that these miniature flares could be contributing to one of the most mysterious phenomena on the Sun, the coronal heating.

campfire new phenomena discovered on the sun

Image credit: Solar Orbiter/EUI Team/ESA & NASA; CSL, IAS, MPS, PMOD/WRC, ROB, UCL/MSSL

Campfires are totally insignificant each by themselves, but summing up their effect all over the Sun, they might be dominant contribution to the heating of the solar corona -- the outermost layer of the Sun's atmosphere.

The animation below combines a series of views captured with several remote-sensing instruments on Solar Orbiter between May 30 and June 21, 2020, when the spacecraft was roughly halfway between the Earth and the Sun – closer to the Sun than any other solar telescope has ever been before.

The Solar Orbiter First Images photo gallery is available here.

Featured image: Solar Orbiter/EUI Team/ESA & NASA; CSL, IAS, MPS, PMOD/WRC, ROB, UCL/MSSL

Comments

Greg Miller 27 days ago

"ABSOLUTELY NOT, THE SUN IS EXTERNALLY POWERED" You won the Internet today Jamal.

Jamal Shrair 28 days ago

THE SELF-DELUSION IS THE CAUSE OF BRAIN BLINDNESS AMONG INSTITUTIONAL SOLAR PHYSICISTS...............................ALL THESE IMAGES FROM THE SOLAR ORBITER COULD BE RECREATED IN A LABORATORY, BUT ONLY, IF YOU UNDERSTOOD THE PHYSICAL REALITY OF THE SUN. HOWEVER, IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW THE MAGNETIC FIELD OF THE SUN IS PRODUCED AND HOW IT FUNCTIONS, THEN YOU DO NOT KNOW THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT THE SUN. IN FACT, YOU HAVE ALREADY ACKNOWLEDGED IT. YES, THE MAGNETIC FIELD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THE ACTIVITY OF THE SUN. ..............."We know that the magnetic field is responsible for all the activity that the Sun produces, but we don't know how the magnetic field itself is produced," Said, Sami Solanki. "We think it's a dynamo that is doing that inside the Sun, similar to the dynamo inside the Earth. But we really don't know how it functions. But we do know that the poles play a key role.".........................."Whether these miniature versions are driven by the same mechanisms, though, is unclear. But these small flares could be involved in the mysterious heating process that makes the star's outer atmosphere, or corona, far hotter than its surface". ABSOLUTELY NOT, THE SUN IS EXTERNALLY POWERED. THE MAXIMUM POWER SUPPLY IS DURING SOLAR MINIMUM AND THE MINIMUM ENERGY SUPPLY IS DURING SOLAR MAXIMUM. THIS FACT IS OVERWHELMINGLY OBVIOUS AND ONE OF THE MOST OBSERVED FEATURES. BUT, OF COURSE, THE SELF-DELUSION IS THE CAUSE OF THE BRAIN BLINDNESS AMONG SOLAR PHYSICISTS

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