What is magnetic whip? Solar Orbiter of ESA and NASA would have helped to decipher the origin of this mysterious phenomenon of the Sun


For many years there has been talk of magnetic lash, a phenomenon of the Sun for which the real reasons are unknown, although hypotheses abound. But the Solar Orbiter THIS Y POT would have helped provide “convincing clues” about its origin.

According to research published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, this ESA and NASA probe made the first direct and consistent observation of the phenomenon.

The magnetic whip is a sudden deviation of the magnetic field of the solar wind, explains the group of researchers from the American Astronomical Society. Hence it is also known as a magnetic recoil.

“While several spacecraft have flown through these puzzling regions before, in situ data only allows for a single point-and-time measurement.” indicates the ESA in a statement. “Consequently, the structure and shape of the curvature must be deduced from the properties of the magnetic field and the plasma measured at a point.”

The discovery of the Solar Orbiter probe of ESA and NASA

Solar Orbiter, using the Metis coronagraph, made the whiplash observation on March 25, recording an image showing a distorted S-shaped fold in the coronal plasma.

After comparing the image of Metis, taken in visible light, with a simultaneous image taken by Solar Orbiter’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI), it was seen that the reversal was taking place over an active region cataloged as AR 12972.

ESA image

“The formation mechanism and sources of the curves remain to be resolved,” the scientists acknowledge, “although candidate mechanisms include Alfvenic turbulence, shear-driven Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities, exchange reconnection, and spiral-related geometric effects. of Parker”.

The lashes, in addition, would help to explain the because the Sun’s photosphere is much cooler than the corona (atmosphere). The phenomenon, according to the DW, had already been detected by the Ulysses and Helios missions, but the technology of the Solar Orbiter probe would provide more and better data.

The contribution of the probe to science

This scientific satellite, developed by the European Space Agency and NASA, was launched on February 10, 2020 on an Atlas V rocket, from Cape Canaveral.

The mission makes observations of the Sun from different eccentric orbits, reaching a minimum distance from the star at its perihelion of 60 solar radii.

If the setbacks are finally understood, explains the ESA in its statement, Solar physicists may also be taking a step toward understanding the details of how the solar wind speeds up and heats away from the Sun.

When spacecraft fly through curves, they often record a localized acceleration of the solar wind. The next step will be to try to statistically link the observed in-situ recoils to their regions of origin on the Sun.

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