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




SOLAR SCIENCE
Space tornadoes power the atmosphere of the Sun
by Staff Writers
Sheffield, UK (SPX) Jul 03, 2012


Visualisation of a close-up region in our advanced 3D numerical simulations of a magnetic tornado in the solar atmosphere. The spiral lines represent the velocity field in the tornado vortex. The images contain the observed swirl signature (top, bluish) and the Sun's surface (bottom, reddish). Credits: Wedemeyer-Bohm et al. (2012).

The super tornadoes - which are thousands of times larger and more powerful than their earthly counterparts but which have a magnetic skeleton - spin at speeds of more than 6,000 mph at temperatures in millions of centigrade in the Sun's atmosphere. They are more than 1,000 miles wide - hundreds of miles longer than the total distance between Land's End to John O'Groats.

It is estimated that there are as many as 11,000 of these swirling events above the Sun's surface at any time.

Applied mathematicians from the University of Sheffield (Professor Robertus Erdelyi -senior author, and Dr Viktor Fedun) collaborating with the University of Oslo in Norway (Drs Sven Wedemeyer-Bohm - first author, Eamon Scullion - a Sheffield ex-postgraduate, Luc Rouppe van de Voort), Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics of Freiburg, Germany (Dr Oskar Steiner), and Uppsala University in Sweden (Jaime de la Cruz Rodriguez), say the solar tornadoes carry the energy from the energy reservoir below the Sun's surface, called the convection zone, to the outer atmosphere in the form of magnetic waves.

Professor Robertus Erdelyi (a.k.a von Fay-Siebenburgen) Head of the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC) of the University of Sheffield's School of Mathematics and Statistics, said: "If we understand how nature heats up magnetised plasmas, like in the tornadoes observed in the Sun, one day we may be able to use this process to develop the necessary technology and build devices on Earth that produce free, clean, green energy. Because of our collaborative research it looks an essential leap forward is made towards unveiling the secrets about a great and exciting problem in plasma-astrophysics and we are getting closer and closer to find a solution.

"We report here the discovery of ubiquitous magnetic solar tornadoes and their signature in the hottest areas of the Sun's atmosphere where the temperature is a few millions of degree kelvin, about thousands of kilometres from the Sun's surface. This is a major step in the field."

Professor Robertus Erdelyi added: "One of the major problems in modern astrophysics is why the atmosphere of a star, like our own Sun, is considerably hotter than its surface? Imagine, that you climb a mountain, e.g. a monroe in the Scottish highlands, and it becomes hotter as you go higher and higher. Many scientists are researching how to "heat" the atmosphere above the surface of the Sun, or any other star.

The space tornadoes are very magnetic and they operate in plasma - Plasma is the forth known state of matter, beside solid, liquid and gas and makes around 99 per cent of the known matter of the Universe. The tornados act in a similar way to water does if you take the plug out of a full bath.

"It is understood that the energy originates from below the Sun's surface, but how this massive amount of energy travels up to the solar atmosphere surrounding it is a mystery. We believe we have found evidence in the form of rotating magnetic structures - solar tornadoes - that channel the necessary energy in the form of magnetic waves to heat the magnetised solar plasma. It is hoped that the process could be replicated here on Earth one day to energise plasma in tokamak that are believed to be a future device to produce completely clean energy."

Scientists viewed the solar tornadoes in the outer atmosphere of the Sun, stretching thousands of miles from the giant star's surface by using both satellite and ground-based telescopes. They then created 3D-layered seqence of images of the tornadoes and simulated their evolution with state-of-the-art numerical codes using the magnetic imprints detected by their high-resolution, cutting-edge telescopes.

.


Related Links
Solar Tornado
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
UK Space Agency makes stellar investment in mission to the Sun
London, UK (SPX) Jun 20, 2012
The UK Space Agency has announced a planned 11.5M pound investment for the scientific payloads for Solar Orbiter - the first medium (M-class) mission in the European Space Agency's (ESA) Cosmic Vision programme. The funding is being shared between British institutions for the development of four of the mission's instruments to study the Sun. Solar Orbiter will discover how the Sun creates ... read more


SOLAR SCIENCE
ESA to catch laser beam from Moon mission

Researchers Estimate Ice Content of Crater at Moon's South Pole

Researchers find evidence of ice content at the moon's south pole

Nanoparticles found in moon glass bubbles explain weird lunar soil behaviour

SOLAR SCIENCE
Martian moon Phobos could be life clue

Exhumed rocks reveal Mars water ran deep

Houston Workshop Marks Key Step in Planning Future Mars Missions

Getting a Feel for the Terrain

SOLAR SCIENCE
Boeing Validates Performance of CST Vehicle's Attitude Control Engine

Northrop Grumman's Modular Space Vehicle Completes CDR Process

Astronaut Zucchini - A Tradition of Sprouts in Space

First Space-Bound Orion on Its Way to Kennedy

SOLAR SCIENCE
Three Chinese astronauts return to Earth

China's Space Program Accelerates

China spacecraft set to return to Earth Friday

Experts respond to rumors about Shenzhou-9

SOLAR SCIENCE
Three astronauts land on Earth from ISS in Russian capsule

ISS crew rests before return to Earth

ISS Resupply Important to Kennedy's Past and Future

Andre wraps up six months of work on ISS

SOLAR SCIENCE
ATK Completes Software TIM for Liberty under NASA's Commercial Crew Program

MSG-3 Now Installed In Ariane 5

Haigh-Farr Supports SpaceX in First Docking of the Dragon Capsule to ISS

NASA Adds Orbital's Antares To Launch Services II Contract

SOLAR SCIENCE
New Planet-weighing Technique Found

Innovative technique enables scientists to learn more about elusive exoplanet

Dramatic change spotted on a faraway planet

New Way of Probing Exoplanet Atmospheres

SOLAR SCIENCE
Body scanner takes tailoring to the masses

H.K.'s SCMP editor under fire as press freedom 'shrinks'

Apple pays $60 mn to end China iPad trademark row

Now Everyone Can Build a Satellite Like NASA: Online!




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