Jan 23, 2019 | Updated: 10:56 AM EST

Sun's Eruptions May Have The Same Trigger, Recent Study Suggests

Apr 28, 2017 01:30 AM EDT


All solar eruptions in the Sun, both large and small scale, might have the same trigger by a single process. This is the new finding of a recent research that focused on understanding the Sun's activity more.

In order to understand the solar eruption, researchers from Durham University in the United Kingdom and National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center used 3D computer simulations in order to show a theoretical link of large and small scale eruptions. Previously, scientists thought that these eruptions were triggered by different processes.

Once they looked at the mechanism behind coronal jets and large-scale coronal mass ejections of solar eruptions, scientists discovered that both eruptions involve snake-like filaments of dense plasma low in the Sun's atmosphere. However, an article published in Phys.org said that it is still unclear for the scientists on how the eruption took place at different scales.

The coronal jets are relatively small explosions of plasma from the sun. Meanwhile, the coronal mass ejections, which is another type of solar eruption, are giant clouds of plasma and the magnetic field is blown into space at a high speed.

In addition, the researchers discovered the filaments in jets from the sun are triggered to have a solar erupt once the magnetic field lines above them break and rejoin. This process is known as the magnetic reconnection.

In their findings published in the journal site Nature, it is stated that understanding solar eruptions are important as it could affect the electromagnetic radiation in the planet. This could cause inconvenience in radio transmissions and satellite communications. In addition, solar eruptions from the sun could eject high-energy electrically charged particles that could endanger astronauts.

"It was previously thought that there were different drivers for the varying scales of [solar] eruptions from the Sun, but our research provides a theoretical universal model for this activity, which is very exciting," Peter Wyper, the lead author of the study said. Wyper is also a Royal Astronomical Society Fellow in the Department of Mathematical at Durham University.

The research about the solar eruption was funded by the Royal Astronomical Society and NASA. The NASA's Center for Climate Simulation is the one responsible for the computer simulations.

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