Magnetic Ropes Trigger Solar Storms

16 June, 2011 at 17:56 | Posted in Science | Leave a comment
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Epoch Times Staff

Images from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory SDO spacecraft have shown that solar storms are caused by a rapid phenomenon known as a magnetic rope.

Associate professor Jie Zhang and graduate student Xin Cheng at George Mason University looked at images taken with SDO’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) telescope, which captures imagery every 10 seconds. They zoomed in on a solar region where a magnetic rope was forming.

“The magnetic rope triggers a solar eruption,” said Zhang in a press release. “Scientists have been debating whether or not this magnetic rope exists before a solar eruption. I believe that the result of this excellent observation helps finally solve this controversial issue.”

During a solar storm, the sun sends out giant clouds of plasma with a strong magnetic field. The telescope showed that a long, low channel courses through the active region beforehand, slowly rising as it heats up to as much as 10 million degrees. This channel is believed to be the magnetic rope.

Read more: Magnetic Ropes Trigger Solar Storms | Science | Epoch Times

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