In a new study, scientists found the Sun’s magnetic field is ten times stronger than previously believed.
This is the first time scientists have been able to measure accurately the magnetic field of the coronal loops.
The new research was conducted by Queen’s University Belfast and Aberystwyth.
The Sun’s corona extends millions of kilometers above the surface. It is about 1,400,000 kilometers across and 150,000,000 kilometers from Earth,
Solar flares occur when magnetic energy in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released. They look like bright flashes.
These solar flares can lead to storms that form the northern lights, the Aurora Borealis.
They can also disrupt communications satellites and GPS systems.
Until now, the successful measurement of the magnetic field is impossible due to the weakness of the signal from the Sun’s atmosphere and the limitations of the instrument.
In the study, the team studied a very strong solar flare which erupted near the surface of the Sun on 10 September 2017.
They used the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma in the Canary Islands.
They were able to determine the strength of the flare’s magnetic field with very high accuracy.
The magnetic fields reported in this study are similar to those of a typical fridge magnet. They are about 100 times weaker than the magnetic field encountered in an MRI scanner.
However, they are still responsible for the confinement of the solar plasma.
During the 10-day study, the telescope used only focus on 1% of the Sun’s surface at any given time.
But the team was focused on exactly the right area and at the right time when the solar flare erupted.
The new finding provides critical parameters and is very important for the physics of the solar corona.
The researchers believe their findings may change the understanding of the processes that happen in the Sun’s immediate atmosphere.
The leader of the study is Dr. David Kuridze, Research Fellow at Aberystwyth University.
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