Two satellites see “tsunami” on sun’s surface

A coronal mass ejection (CME) imaged from the Solar Dynamic Observatory in May 2013.
Photo credit: NASA

A recent article from BBC News discusses how the Hinode and Solar Dynamic Observatory, two satellites that contain Luxel filters, helped observe a tsunami that spread across the sun’s surface following a coronal mass ejection (CME). Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Understanding this field may help predict how CMEs will affect the Earth.

And thanks to data from Hinode, one of the two satellites, researchers may have cracked a 70-year-old mystery as to why the Sun’s surrounding corona is so much hotter than its surface.

The Japanese satellite Hinode has been studying the Sun since 2006, joined in Earth orbit by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in 2010.

Both satellites look at ultraviolet light from the Sun – colours we cannot see but that give hints as to both the chemical makeup and the extreme physical conditions at and near the Sun’s roiling, turbulent surface.

“The SDO satellite was able to capture the ultraviolet light emitted as the wave spread out. From that, the team was able to determine the wave’s speed – some 400km per second – and its rough temperature, over a million degrees.

Meanwhile the Hinode satellite returned a high-resolution map of the density of the Sun’s surface every 45 seconds.

Using both satellites data sets, the team was able to determine the strength of the magnetic field in the “quiet corona” – a tricky measurement of the Sun in its typical, quiescent state.”

Read the full article here:

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