Solar Orbiter captures the reflection of the sun’s magnetic field

The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter (ESA) may have picked up evidence of reversals in the Sun’s magnetic field, reinforcing a theory about how this well-known but mysterious phenomenon occurs.

On March 25, the Solar Orbiter passed inside the orbit of Mercury to take close-up pictures of the sun. Using a device (to monitor the sun’s luminosity) called a coronagraph, knowing that it blocks the sun’s disk just as the moon does during a total solar eclipse, the spacecraft’s instruments picked up a strange, squiggly “S” shape in the weak currents of the sun. The Sun’s plasma or ‘plasma’ seen in the ‘corona’, the outermost atmosphere of the Sun.

The observed “S”-shaped bounce is probably a reflection of the Sun’s magnetic field, known as a “magnetic bounce”.

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“I would like to say that this first snapshot of magnetic rebound in the Sun’s corona has revealed the origin of this phenomenon,” said Danielle Teloni, an astrophysicist at the National Institute of Astrophysics – Astrophysical Observatory in Turin, Italy, and principal investigator. In a new paper dealing with this phenomenon, published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

In fact, since the 1970s, space probes have detected several solar magnetic bounces, according to a publication by the European Space Agency, but the process responsible for their occurrence remains an unsolved mystery.

In February 2020, the “Solar Orbiter Probe” was launched and began to fly in an elliptical orbit around the sun, periodically passing close to the sun from the planet “Mercury”, allowing for close-up studies of solar phenomena.

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Unlike Earth, which has a single magnetic field with two poles, the Sun has multiple magnetic fields. Since this star is largely made up of matter in a plasma state (ionic gas), the positively charged protons are separated from the negatively charged electrons by a very hot gas, and these magnetic fields provide pathways through which the sun’s plasma can travel.

Closed magnetic fields leave and return to the surface of the Sun, as do magnetic arcs, and any plasma that flows along them slowly moves back to the Sun. Open magnetic fields, such as those suddenly released in the midst of a coronal mass ejection [تفجر هائل من الرياح الشمسية]It extends into the interplanetary magnetic field and can allow plasma to escape into space, accelerating it during this phenomenon.

Sometimes, charged particles accelerating along open magnetic field lines hit the planet, causing geomagnetic storms, spectacular streaks of colorful “aurora” lights near the north or south magnetic poles, and even disturbances in radio communications.

In some theories that deal with the occurrence of magnetic rebound of solar energy, it is stated that open and closed magnetic fields touch each other, leaving an explosion of energy that ends the closed magnetic field, causing it to move backward temporarily, before returning again like a whip to its original direction .

“The first image from the Solar Orbiter’s Metis instrument revealed by Danielle almost immediately inspired an animation we drew in developing the computational model of reverberation,” said Gary Zank, director of the Center for Space Plasma and Atmospheric Research at the University of Alabama. ‘, in Huntsville. Reportedly, Dr. Zank was the author of the “S”-shaped rebound knot theory, and he is a co-author of the study.

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It is noteworthy that the confirmation of the mathematical theory about the formation of the magnetic rebound that came from the observations, helps scientists to reach a better understanding of winds and solar storms, but more research must be carried out in order to link the reversals to their origin on the surface of the sun. Specifically, scientists need a spacecraft such as the Solar Orbiter, or NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, that bounces off and does additional evaluations.

That opportunity will soon be available, as the Solar Orbiter spacecraft will fly in its next pass close to the Sun on October 13.

In a statement he made in this regard, Daniel Muller, one of the scientists in the “Solar Orbiter” project of the European Space Agency, said, “This is exactly the result we were hoping for using the Solar Orbiter. It is the first very close passage to the Sun that it makes.” Solar Orbiter”, so we expect to get more exciting results in the future.”