Sunflares can help scientists predict solar flares

Sunflares can help scientists predict solar flares

Two images of a solar active region (NOAA AR 2109) taken by SDO/AIA show intense ultraviolet light from a million-degree hot coronal gas (top images) the day before the region exploded (left) and the day before it remained quiet and did not ignite (right) . Changes in brightness (bottom images) at these two times show different patterns, with patches of high contrast (black and white areas) before the flare (lower left) and often gray (indicating low contrast) before the lull (lower right). Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA/Dissauer et al. 2022

In the sun’s scorching upper atmosphere, a team of scientists has found new clues that can help predict when and where the sun’s next flare might explode.

Using data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, researchers from NorthWest Research Associates, or NWRA, have identified small signals in the upper layers of the solar atmosphere, auraThis can help identify regions on the Sun that are most likely to produce solar flares – energetic bursts of light and particles emitted from the Sun.

They found that above areas about to ignite, the corona produced small-scale flashes — like tiny sparks before large fireworks.

This information could eventually help improve predictions of flares and space weather storms — turbulent conditions in space caused by the sun’s activity. Space weather can affect Earth in several ways: producing auroras, endangering astronauts, and disrupting Wireless communicationsand even cause a major power outage.

Scientists have previously studied how activity in the lower layers of the sun’s atmosphere — such as the photosphere and chromosphere — can signal impending flare activity in active regions, which are often characterized by clusters of sunspots, or strong magnetic regions on the sun’s surface that are darker and cooler compared to solar panels. around them. New results published in The Astrophysical Journal, Add to that photo.

“We can get some very different information in the corona than we get from the photosphere, or ‘surface’ of the sun,” said KD Leka, lead author of the new study who is also a foreign-appointed professor at Nagoya University, Japan. “Our results may give us a new marker for distinguishing active regions that are likely to erupt soon and which will remain quiet over the next time period.”

In their research, the scientists used a newly created image database of the Sun’s active regions captured by SDO. The publicly available resource, described in an accompanying paper also at Astrophysical Journal, combines more than eight years of images taken of active regions in the ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet rays. Led by Karen Desauer and engineered by Eric L. Wagner, the NWRA team’s new database makes it easier for scientists to use data from the Aerial Imaging Group (AIA) on SDO to conduct large statistical studies.

“It is the first time that a database like this has been readily available for scientific communityAnd it would be very useful for studying many subjects, not just active regions that are ready to glow,” Dessauer said.

The NWRA team studied a large sample of active regions from the database using Statistical methods Developed by team member Graham Barnes. The analysis revealed small flashes in the corona that preceded each flash glow. These and other new insights will give researchers a better understanding of the physics that occur in these magnetically active regions, with the goal of developing new tools for predicting solar eruptions.

“With this research, we’re really starting to dig deeper,” Desauer said. “In the future, combining all this information from the surface up through the corona should allow forecasters to make better predictions about when and where Solar flares it will happen.”

more information:
KD Leka et al., Characteristics of impending flare versus calm, glowing active regions from the chromosphere through the corona. Second. Nonparametric discrimination analysis results from the NWRA Classification Infrastructure (NCI), Astrophysical Journal (2023). DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ac9c04

Karin Dissauer et al, Characteristics of impending flare versus glowing active regions from the chromosphere through the corona. 1. Introduction of AIA Active Area Patches (AARPs), Astrophysical Journal (2023). DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ac9c06

the quote: Sunflares Can Help Scientists Predict Solar Flares (2023, January 17) Retrieved January 17, 2023 from

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