Scientists have discovered an astonishing “auroral-like” display of crackling radio waves that is strikingly similar to the aurora borealis on Earth.
The solar light show took place about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) above the sunspot in a magnetically distorted location. dark patch on the surface of our star. Astronomers on Earth detected the burst. radio waves For a week.
Scientists have previously detected aurora-like radio signals from distant stars, but this is the first time they’ve observed these types of signals from our sun. They published their research results on November 13th in the journal natural astronomy.
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“This is quite different from typical episodic solar radio bursts, which usually last minutes to hours,” lead author Yu Shijiean astronomer at the New Jersey Institute of Technology Center for Solar and Terrestrial Research (NJIT-CSTR); said in a statement. “This is an exciting discovery that has the potential to change our understanding of magnetic processes in stars.”
on earth, aurora These are the result of energetic solar debris flying through the atmosphere near the poles, where the protective magnetic field is weakest, stirring up oxygen and nitrogen molecules. This causes the molecules to release energy in the form of light, painting a rippling curtain of color across the sky.
Solar debris is typically ejected from the Sun when the magnetic field around a sunspot twists and then suddenly breaks. The resulting release of energy releases a burst of radiation called . solar flare an explosive jet of solar material called coronal mass ejection (CME).
By pointing a radio telescope at a sunspot on the star’s surface, researchers detected aurora-like emissions above it. This is thought to be the result of electrons from solar flares being accelerated along the sunspot’s strong magnetic field lines.
“However, unlike Earth’s auroras, these sunspot auroral emissions occur at frequencies in the hundreds of thousands of kHz range. [kilohertz] “This is a direct result of the sunspot’s magnetic field being several thousand times stronger than Earth’s magnetic field. For comparison, a typical aurora on Earth emits light at frequencies between 100 and 500 kHz.”
Researchers say the discovery opens a new way to study solar activity, and they are beginning to comb through archival data to find hidden evidence of past solar auroras. .
“We are beginning to piece together the puzzle of how energetic particles and magnetic fields interact in systems with long-lasting stellar sunspots,” study co-authors said. Surajit MondalNJIT solar physicists said in a statement. “Not just our Sun, but also stars far beyond our solar system.”