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Surprsing Discoveries in Everyday Life

  • Date Submitted: 06/21/2011 03:43 AM
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surprsing discoveries in everyday life .Scientists using NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), have detected quasi-periodic waves in the low solar corona that travel at speeds as high as 2 000km/s. These observations provide, for the first time, unambiguous evidence of propagating fast mode magnetosonic waves at such high speeds in the Sun’s low atmosphere.
Dr. Wei Liu, a Stanford University Research Associate at the Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL) at the company’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto, presented the findings today at the annual meeting of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society, in Las Cruces, N.M. A paper detailing the discovery has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
It is well known that the hot plasma in the solar corona oscillates and produces propagating waves when “kicked” by a flare or eruption, similar to ripples in water produced by dropping a rock into a still pond. Theories and computer models predicted the existence of slow and fast moving waves, and the former were clearly seen by solar observatories in space. However, clues for fast moving waves were seen only briefly in the past during a solar eclipse on the ground, because previous space telescopes could not take pictures rapidly enough to image these fast waves.
“It is the high temporal and spatial resolution of AIA that enables us to see these waves clearly for the first time. AIA takes high sensitivity, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) pictures of the solar corona at spatial scales down to 1100 kilometers, every 12 seconds with 0.1–2 second exposures,” said Dr. Liu, who led the analysis of the waves. “In addition, AIA’s full Sun field of view at seven simultaneous wavelengths allows us to track them over large spatial and temperature ranges.”
The waves are typically successive, arc-shaped fronts of intensity variations, similar to water ripples, which emanate near a flare...

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