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Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind  5nvklj





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Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind

Dragon
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Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind  Empty Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind

Post by Dragon Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:40 am

From traversing sand dunes in the Sahara Desert to keeping watch for polar bears in the Arctic, a group of solar scientists known as the “Solar Wind Sherpas” led by Shadia Habbal, have traveled to the ends of the Earth to scientifically observe total solar eclipses – the fleeting moments when the Moon completely blocks the Sun, temporarily turning day into night.

With the images, they’ve uncovered a surprising finding about the Sun’s wind and its wispy outer atmosphere – the corona – which is only visible in its entirety during an eclipse.

From more than a decade’s worth of total eclipse observations taken around the world, the team noticed that the corona maintains a fairly constant temperature, despite dynamical changes to the region that occur on an 11-year rotation known as the solar cycle.

Similarly, the solar wind – the steady stream of particles the Sun releases from the corona out across the solar system – matches that same temperature.


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Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind  334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:42 am

Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind  Fe_xi_fe_xiv_wl-hr_mitchell_achf
Credits: Image produced by M. Druckmuller and published in Habbal et al. 2021

Special filters enable scientists to measure different temperatures in the corona during total solar eclipses, such as this one seen in Mitchell, Oregon, on August 21, 2017.

The red light is emitted by charged iron particles at 1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit and the green are those at 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit.


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Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind  334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:44 am

Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind  Pastedgraphic_11024_1
Credits: Habbal et al. 2021

A close-up view of a prominence (the pinkish areas) – the coolest and most complex magnetic structure in the corona.

Prominences are directly linked to overlying hot arches (the grey loops) in the corona.

Their dynamics drive the variable solar wind and eruptions called coronal mass ejections.

Prominences are also thought to be directly linked to regional temperature changes in the corona throughout a solar cycle, as they increase with solar activity.


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Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind  334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:45 am



Seeing the Inner Corona


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Post by Dragon Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:46 am



Observations by NASA's IRIS spacecraft suggest that "heat bombs" are going off in the sun's outer atmosphere, helping to explain why the solar corona is so mysteriously hot.


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Post by Dragon Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:47 am



Solar Orbiter's Extreme Ultraviolet Imager's View of February 2021 Coronal Mass Ejection


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