Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, General Astronomy, Solar System, Sun > Researchers Explain Magnetic Field Misbehavior In Solar Flares: The Culprit Is Turbulence

Researchers Explain Magnetic Field Misbehavior In Solar Flares: The Culprit Is Turbulence


Credit: NASA/SDO

Credit: NASA/SDO

When a solar flare filled with charged particles erupts from the sun, its magnetic fields sometime break a widely accepted rule of physics. The flux-freezing theorem dictates that the magnetic lines of force should flow away in lock-step with the particles, whole and unbroken. Instead, the lines sometimes break apart and quickly reconnect in a way that has mystified astrophysicists.

But in a paper published in the May 23 issue of the journal Nature, an interdisciplinary research team led by a Johns Hopkins mathematical physicist says it has found a key to the mystery. The culprit, the group proposed, is turbulence—the same sort of violent disorder that can jostle a passenger jet when it occurs in the atmosphere. Using complex computer modeling to mimic what happens to magnetic fields when they encounter turbulence within a solar flare, the researchers built their case, explaining why the usual rule did not apply.

“The flux-freezing theorem often explains things beautifully,” said Gregory Eyink, a Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics professor who was lead author of the Nature study. “But in other instances, it fails miserably. We wanted to figure out why this failure occurs.”

Full Story: http://releases.jhu.edu/2013/05/22/researchers-explain-magnetic-field-misbehavior-in-solar-flares-the-culprit-is-turbulence/

  1. May 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Reblogged this on Insights Connect and commented:
    And this is just informative!

  2. May 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Reblogged this on Space oddities.

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