STEREO helps scientists answer why solar winds act as misty spray

STEREO helps scientists answer why solar winds act as misty spray

Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center used images collected by the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft to show solar wind in a new and interesting way. The pictures were used to image activity in the Sun’s corona. The spacecraft which has been observing the Sun since 2006 records how solar flares take place.

The observation has answered questions that many scientists previously raised regarding solar winds of the Sun. Several times, solar winds, high energy particles, leave our star and travel in the solar system. Researchers tried tounderstand how solar winds convert from oriented rays to disoriented rays.

The Sun’s magnetic field is helping the curious researchers solve this mystery. Solar winds travel along lines of magnetic field. They concluded that the field stops controlling the solar winds once the winds leave corona. The control falls faster than the pressure of the material inside the plasma. This makes the winds resemble a misty spray. It is because the winds start behaving more like a gas and less like plasma, according to Craig DeForest, lead author of a new study published in the Astrophysical Journal.

"Now we have a global picture of solar wind evolution. This is really going to change our understanding of how the space environment develops", said NicholeenViall, a solar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center told Raw Story.

The center describes the process by relating it with water leaving a squirt gun. In the process, when the water in the gun travels farther away, the force falls and the stream breaks in a misty spray. The sun is made of plasma that forms by oppositely charged particles that separate at high temperatures.



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