An astronomy photographer has captured images of a giant wall of plasma collapsing at high speed onto the Sun’s surface after erupting near the star’s south pole.
Photographer Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau, near Rafaela, Argentina, took the photo on March 9 using specialized photographic equipment. The wall of plasma rises 100,000 km above the surface of the Sun, which is equivalent to 8 Earths stacked on top of each other.. “On my computer screen, it looked like hundreds of strands of plasma flowing from the wall”shared Poupeau.
Close-up of the plasma wall, also known as the 100,000 km high plasma waterfall
Close-up of the plasma wall, also known as the 100,000 km high plasma cascade, near the Sun’s south pole. (Photo: Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau)
The above phenomenon has a name Polar Corona Light (PCP), according to Spaceweather. com. Essentially, PCP is similar to ordinary solar flares. It’s the plasma flow or ionized gas ejected from the surface of the star due to the magnetic field. However, according to NASA, PCPs occur near the Sun’s magnetic poles, between 60 and 70 degrees north latitude and 60 and 70 degrees south latitude, causing them to collapse to the surface due to stronger magnetic fields. strong near the poles. This collapse process gives them their nickname “plasma cascade”.
The plasma inside the PCP generally does not fall freely because it is still trapped in the magnetic field. However, the plasma glides at speeds of up to 36,000 km/h, much faster than the magnetic field can support, according to experts’ calculations. Researchers are still learning how this happens. A study published in 2021 in the journal Frontiers of physics revealed that PCP goes through two phases during its eruption, a slow phase, in which the plasma rises slowly, and a fast phase, where the plasma accelerates toward its peak. It’s possible that the process affects how the plasma falls back to the surface, but more research is needed to confirm this.
Solar physicists often study flares because they accompany coronal flares, columns of magnetized plasma that break away from the Sun and point directly toward Earth. But PCP is also of interest to nuclear physicists because the solar magnetic field seems particularly well suited to limiting polar plasma flows, which could help researchers improve experimental fusion reactors.
PCP is very common and can occur almost every day, even if photos of phenomena like that of Poupeau are very rare. However, like many other plasma-related phenomena on the Sun, CPR could become more frequent and intense as the Sun approaches the peak of its 11-year cycle, known as peak phase.
Article source: VnExpress
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An astronomy photographer has recorded images of a giant wall of plasma collapsing at high speed onto the surface of the Sun after erupting near the south pole of…