When is the next solar flare? New research may help predict this

Newly published research could help predict when “powerful solar storms” will hit.

According to Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, an international team of researchers discovered that the sun’s magnetic field begins about 20,000 miles below its surface. Previously, the magnetic field was thought to originate 130,000 miles below its surface.

According to NASA, the sun’s magnetic field is created by a magnetic dynamo located within it. This study aimed to prove that the dynamo actually starts near the sun’s surface. Researchers hope that a better understanding of the sun’s dynamo can help predict future solar flares.

This work proposes a new hypothesis about how the sun’s magnetic field is created that better matches solar observations and, hopefully, can be used to make better predictions of solar activity,” said study co-author Daniel Lecoanet, a assistant professor of engineering sciences and applied mathematics, researcher in the McCormick School of Engineering and member of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Research in Astrophysics.

This image shows a solar flare, the bright flash of light on the right side of the sun, on Tuesday.  The sun produced its biggest flare in nearly a decade on Tuesday, just days after a powerful solar storm hit Earth and created dazzling northern lights in places where auroras aren't usually visible.

It’s an age-old question that astronomer Galileo Galilei tried to answer, but hundreds of years later, researchers say they found the answer and published the findings in the journal. Nature.

Understanding the origin of the sun’s magnetic field has been an open question since Galileo and is important for predicting future solar activity, such as flares that might hit Earth, Lecoanet said.

#solar #flare #research #predict
Image Source : www.usatoday.com

Leave a Comment