Stuart Jefferies, University of Hawaii, HI
Viggo Hansteen, University of Oslo, Norway
Scott McIntosh, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO
Bart De Pontieu, Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysics Lab, Palo Alto, CA
“Scientists discover what molds the Sun’s Ring of Fire”
What is the Sun’s Ring of Fire?
Solar Chromosphere: 20,000 F
Sandwiched between surface (10,000 F) and corona (2 million F)
Produces UV radiation that may influence Earth’s climate
Why is the Chromosphere Hot ?
Movie taken with NASA’s STEREO A spacecraft in EUV light.
Note the jets at the limb and the flickering on the disk.
- Why is the Chromosphere Hot & Barbed ?
- Movie taken with NASA/ESA’s SOHO spacecraft in EUV light.
- Zoomed in 3x on the South polar limb.
Movie taken with Solar Optical Telescope (NASA/JAXA) onboard Japanese Hinode satellite
The Chromosphere is dominated by thin (100-500 mile wide) jets
shooting up and down with velocities of order 10-50 miles/s
traversing 3,000 miles in a few minutes.
Why is the Chromosphere Hot, Barbed & Dynamic?
What Forges the Sun’s “Ring of Fire”?
Magnetic field concentrations that are inclined from the vertical provide “portals” for the trapped waves to leak out and travel upwards.
Illustration by Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation
Waves leak out of interior of the Sun…
The dynamic magnetic field (jostled by convection) forms temporary “cracks” (twinkling) for the low frequency waves to pass through.
Movie from MOTH (Magneto-Optical filters at Two Heights - NSF, Office of Polar Programs)
…Leaking sound waves form strong Shock Waves….
Chromospheric Movie from Swedish Solar Telescope (Spain)
Courtesy Luc Rouppe van der Voort, Michiel van Noort
Continuously driving fountains of plasma upwards at supersonic speeds.
Courtesy of Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, Norway