MYSTERIES OF THE SUN
1. Why is the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, hotter than the surface?
Common sense says as you move further away from a fire, the cooler it gets, but the Sun does the opposite. The surface is 6,000 degrees C while the corona reaches one million degrees C.
2. How is solar wind generated?
Solar wind is a stream of electrically-charged particles that are ejected from the Sun’s atmosphere and accelerate to high speeds to spread out across the solar system.
3. What causes coronal mass ejections?
Massive clouds of particles thrown out by the sun were thought to be associated with solar flares, but have subsequently been found not to be.
4. Can solar activity be predicted?
Sun spots, which are dark spots caused by intense magnetic activity on the Sun’s surface, and solar flares, massive explosions from the Sun’s surface, were thought to run in an 11-year cycle, but the latest quiet period has gone on longer than usual.
5. What is going on in areas of low activity?
From Earth, quiet areas of the Sun with no sunspots or flares look relatively uninteresting, but they are still a boiling mass of activity.
NASA work ON the MYSTERIES OF THE SUN.
NASA has just released five new videos called “Mysteries of the Sun”. The videos describe the science of the sun and its effects on the solar system and Earth. Scientists study the sun not only to better understand the orb that influences life, but also to study how it sends solar material out into space, filling up the bubble that defines the farthest reaches of the solar system. The sun can also impact Earth’s technology: solar storms can affect our communications satellites and cause surges in power lines. These movies cover the breadth of solar, heliospheric, and geospace science, a field known as heliophysics.
With beautiful graphics and well-explained narration, the series has won awards even before its public release, including the 2011 Platinum 3rd Annual Pixie Award in the category of Motion Graphics, receiving compliments from the judges such as “breath-taking animation” and “Some of the best in the competition.”
“NASA constantly creates science products to reach out to the public,” said Ruth Netting, Manager, Communications and Public Engagement for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. “Informing the public is not the only reason — we also want to get people involved in science.”
MYSTERIES OF THE SUN effect on the solar system
: Space Weather
This video describes the direct and dramatic effects that eruptions on the sun can cause at Earth. Earth’s magnetic fields change shape and strength in response to an eruption on the sun, and these changes in turn can damage space born technology and disrupt communications traveling through space. They also cause aurora.
Rotations of the material deep inside the sun cause constantly shifting magnetic field lines. This variability drives the solar cycle, during which the north and south magnetic poles reverse position approximately every 11 years.
The solar wind streams out from the sun until it collides with material from the rest of space. This entire bubble defined by the solar wind is called the heliosphere and scientists study the very boundaries to better understand our place in space.The heliosphere is the outer atmosphere of the Sun and marks the edge of the Sun’s magnetic influence in space. The solar wind that
streams out in all directions from the rotating Sun is a magnetic plasma, and it fills the vast space between the planets in our solar sys-
tem. The magnetic plasma from the Sun doesn’t mix with the magnetic plasma between the stars in our galaxy, so the solar wind carves
out a bubble-like atmosphere that shields our solar system from the majority of galactic cosmic rays.
Earth is enveloped in a protective magnetic envelope called the magnetosphere. This can change shape in response to the sun’s effects, causing various types of space weather at Earth.
Earth’s Upper Atmosphere
Certain layers, high up in the atmosphere also respond to incoming energy from the sun. These layers contain charged particles and so naturally respond to an influx of magnetic energy. Understanding such variability is crucial since it can, in turn, degrade radio communication as well as satellite orbits.
MYSTERIES OF THE SUN : the effect on the earth
Earth’s Magnetic FieldThe magnetosphere is a magnetic shield formed bythe Earth’s rapidly spinningliquid metal core that gener-ates a magnetic field with a north and south pole.
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