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Waspie_Dwarf

Riddle of Sun’s Explosive Events

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Scientists Shed Light on Riddle of Sun’s Explosive Events

DURHAM, N.H. – Four decades of active research and debate by the solar physics community have failed to bring consensus on what drives the sun’s powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that can have profound “space weather” effects on Earth-based power grids and satellites in near-Earth geospace.

In a paper just published in Nature Physics, an international team of space scientists, including a researcher from the University of New Hampshire’s Space Science Center (SSC), explains the mysterious physical mechanisms underlying the origin of CMEs. Their findings, based on state-of-the-art computer simulations, show the intricate connection between motions in the sun’s interior and these eruptions and could lead to better forecasting of hazardous space weather conditions.

CMEs are clouds of magnetic fields and plasma ­– a hot gas composed of charged particles.The fastest and most powerful of these events can explode from the sun at speeds of more than a million miles per hour and release more energy than the current worldwide stockpile of nuclear weapons.

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