Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




SOLAR SCIENCE
New Images Show Cloud Exploding From Sun Ripples Like Clouds On Earth
by Staff Writers
Warwick, UK (SPX) Feb 09, 2011


The new SDO/AIA observations provided images of coronal mass ejections in the extreme ultra violet at a temperature that was not possible to observe in previous instruments - 11 million Kelvin. On examining these images the Warwick researchers spotted a familiar pattern of instability on one flank of an exploding cloud of solar material that closely paralleled instabilities seen in Earth's clouds and waves on the surfaces of seas.

Physicists, led by a researcher at the University of Warwick, studying new images of clouds of material exploding from the Sun have spotted instabilities forming in that exploding cloud that are similar to those seen in clouds in Earth's atmosphere.

These results could greatly assist physicists trying to understand and predict our Solar System's "weather".

The researchers, led by of the Centre for Fusion Space and Astrophysics, at the University of Warwick's Department of Physics, made their discovery when examining new images of clouds of material exploding from the Sun known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

These images were provided by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) experiment on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). SDO was been launched last year and provides unprecedented views of the Sun in multiple temperatures.

The new SDO/AIA observations provided images of coronal mass ejections in the extreme ultra violet at a temperature that was not possible to observe in previous instruments - 11 million Kelvin.

On examining these images the Warwick researchers spotted a familiar pattern of instability on one flank of an exploding cloud of solar material that closely paralleled instabilities seen in Earth's clouds and waves on the surfaces of seas.

When observed these Kelvin-Helmholtz (or KH) instabilities appear to roll up into growing whirls at boundaries between things moving at different speeds, for instance the transition between air and water or cloud. The difference in speeds produces the boundary instabilities.

Similar conditions can occur when one looks at the magnetic environment of the path of these coronal mass ejections as they travel through the solar corona. The difference in speed and energies between the two creates the very similar KH instabilities that we can observe in clouds.

While KH instabilities have been predicted or inferred from observations as happening within the solar system's weather this is the very first time they have been directly observed in the corona.

What makes this observation even more interesting is that the instabilities appear to form and build on one flank of the CME. This may explain why CMEs appear to bend and twist as these instabilities build, and cause drag, on one side of the cloud. This effect will be the next focus for the University of Warwick led research team.

University of Warwick researcher Dr Claire Foullon said: "The fact that we now know that these KH instabilities in CMEs are so far only observable in the extreme ultra violet, at a temperature of 11 million Kelvin, will also help us in modelling CME behaviour"

"This new observation may give us a novel insight into why these CMEs appear to both rotate, and be deflected away from following a simple straight path from the surface of the Sun. If the instabilities form on just one flank they may increase drag one side of the CME causing it to move slower than the rest of the CME."

Dr Foullon and her co-researchers have outlined their observations and detailed modelling of how they believe this phenomenon occurs in a paper just published in Astrophysical Journal Letters entitled Magnetic Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability at the Sun by Dr Claire Foullon, Erwin Verwichte, Valery M. Nakariakov Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Warwick; Katariina Nykyri, Department of Physical Sciences, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida; and Charles J. Farrugia, Space Science Center and Department of Physics, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire.

.


Related Links
University of Warwick
Solar Science News at SpaceDaily






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SOLAR SCIENCE
Humankind Sees Sun As Never Before
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 08, 2011
For the first time in history a stunning view of the whole Sun is visible to the world. The unique 360 degrees view of the Sun was unveiled on Sunday 6 February 2011 after NASA's two STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (link opens in a new window)) spacecraft were aligned exactly opposite each other on either side of the Sun. The 360 degrees coverage from STEREO is enhanced b ... read more


SOLAR SCIENCE
Astrobotic Technology Annouces Lunar Mission On SpaceX Falcon 9

LRO Could Have Given Apollo 14 Crew Another Majestic View

NASA's New Lander Prototype Skates Through Integration And Testing

Draper Commits One Million Dollars To Next Giant Leap's Moon Lander

SOLAR SCIENCE
Experiment volunteers 'to land on Mars'

Tool Makes Search For Martian Life Easier

Mars Express Puts Craters On A Pedestal

Northern Mars Landscape Actively Changing

SOLAR SCIENCE
Rockets, doughnuts could face ax in US budget cuts

'Astonishing' Chinese patent growth marks world recovery

Charles Bolden's Story: "From the Segregated South to Low Earth Orbit"

Lifting To Space

SOLAR SCIENCE
U.S. wary of China space weapons

Slow progress in U.S.-China space efforts

China Builds Theme Park In Spaceport

Tiangong Space Station Plans Progessing

SOLAR SCIENCE
Azorean Station To Track Ariane Launch

International Partners Discuss ISS Operations

Russian Cosmonauts To Conduct Spacewalk Feb 16

Europe's ATV Space Ferry Ready For Launch

SOLAR SCIENCE
Vandenberg Launches Minotaur One

Activities At Esrange Space Center 2011

Russia Plans To Build Carrier Rocket For Mars Missions

First Delta IV Heavy Launches From Vandenberg

SOLAR SCIENCE
NASA Finds Earth-Size Planet Candidates In Habitable Zone

Las Cumbres Scientists Play Key Role In New Planetry System Discovery

A Six-Planet System

Earth-Size Planet Candidates Found In Habitable Zone

SOLAR SCIENCE
Yahoo! joins tablet craze with digital newsstand

NY fashionistas unveil 'zero waste' clothing

HP hits tablet market with TouchPad

Tablets, smartphones to eclipse PCs in 2011: Deloitte




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement