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The short-lived energy jets in the Sun’s corona are a mystery

The short-lived energy jets in the Sun’s corona are a mystery

Scientists have discovered small, short-lived jets of energy emerging from dark regions in the corona, the Sun’s outer atmosphere. These jets appeared as bright flashes across the surface of our star and lasted only 20 to 100 seconds.

Despite their short duration, these aircraft have a huge amount of energy, equivalent to the energy consumption of 10,000 homes in the United Kingdom for a year. The discoveries were made from data collected by Solar Orbiter, a probe operated jointly by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, which has been taking images of the Sun since June 2020.

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The probe also detected “picojets” or “picoflares,” smaller jets barely emerging from the chromosphere, the layer below the solar corona. Images of the Sun’s surface have helped scientists better understand the origin of the solar wind, which is the constant flow of charged particles coming from the Sun. These small jets may contribute to heating the solar corona, which is about a million degrees warmer. – Hotter than its visible surface.

Observations reveal amazing phenomena

  • Another interesting discovery was the observation of “fires”, which are small, intermittent explosions the size of a European country spread across the surface of the sun.
  • These “fires” have been captured by Solar Orbiter images since the probe began operations in 2020;
  • Although they had been observed previously, the number of such events surprised researchers;
  • In the coming months, Solar Orbiter will join NASA’s Parker Solar Probe to collect complementary real-time data about the Sun;
  • This unprecedented collaboration will allow a better understanding of the problem of solar corona heating;
  • Combining observations and remote measurements On siteWe hope to obtain more robust data and progress in resolving this long-standing mystery.
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These exciting results were shared during the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall 2023 meeting, held in San Francisco (USA) and online.