A study published in the July 2 issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters shows the first-ever image of upward surges of solar gases that turn into quiescent coronal loops. The process was proposed a while back, but never photographed as it happened before.
By studying this phenomenon, it may become possible to gain a deeper understanding of how extremely large space storms develop. These are phenomena that produce solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which can in turn affect satellites, communications and power grids here on Earth.
Determining how solar structures are heated and maintained in the upper solar atmosphere is one of the most difficult lines of study today, say investigators from the University of Cambridge
, who led the study. They believe the new work could help this entire field move forward.
“Probing the heating of the Sun’s active region loops can help us to better understand the physical mechanisms for more energetic events which can impinge on the Earth’s environment,” says Cambridge expert and study coauthor, Dr. Helen Mason.