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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Here’s how the Sun’s magnetic fields can affect space weather

The most mysterious of the Sun's atmospheric layers

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

The chromosphere is a part of the Sun’s atmosphere that has baffled scientists for decades. New research carried out by an international group of astronomers has made it possible to better understand its operation and the effects it may have on space weather.

“More than a hundred years later, the chromosphere remains the most mysterious of the Sun’s atmospheric layers”

emphasizes NASA.

The chromosphere is the outer layer of the Sun’s atmosphere, located between the surface of the sun and the solar corona. It is, according to the US space agency, a place of rapid change, where the temperature increases and magnetic fields begin to dominate the behavior of the Sun.

Over the decades, it had only been possible to see the solar chromosphere for brief moments during total solar eclipses. Now, with the help of the CLASP-2 probe rocket, scientists have been able to measure for the first time in great detail a part of the invisible magnetic fields in the chromosphere.

The magnetic fields in this layer of the solar atmosphere are directly linked to solar flares and the transfer of heat and energy in the Sun, details New Scientist. Understanding them better could help better predict space weather, which often begins on the Sun, but can cause disruptions near our planet.

“I can point out in an image of the sun which regions are charged and which are not, but I can’t tell you when the trigger is going to fire. The trigger, whatever it is, is probably in the magnetic fields of the chromosphere,” explains David McKenzie, one of the authors of the research.

As part of the study, published in the scientific journal Science Advances, the researchers found that the boundaries between the Sun’s layers are less smooth than previously thought and that the strength of the magnetic field varies widely along its edges.

In addition to helping to predict space weather, understanding how the chromosphere works could also help discover why the outermost part of the Sun’s atmosphere is hundreds of times hotter than its surface, New Scientist details.

Now, the team of astronomers will launch a second mission, still without a defined date, but already approved by NASA, to carry out measurements and map the magnetic field of the entire chromosphere.

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