Study reveals structures of solar wind as it travels toward, impacts Earth (w/ video)

Aug 18, 2011
Newly reprocessed archival data from STEREO-A/SECCHI show details of the first Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME) of the STEREO mission, from inception on December 12, 2008, to Earth impact on December 15, 2008. New processing enables following the details of the CME with the wide-field heliospheric imager cameras, out to impact with the Earth 93 million miles from the Sun. Courtesy SwRI/NASA

Using data collected by NASA's STEREO spacecraft, researchers at Southwest Research Institute and the National Solar Observatory have developed the first detailed images of solar wind structures as plasma and other particles from a coronal mass ejection (CME) traveled 93 million miles and impacted Earth.

The images from a December 2008 CME event reveal an array of dynamic interactions as the solar wind, traveling at speeds up to a million miles per hour, shifts and changes on its three-day journey to Earth, guided by the that out from the Sun's surface. Observed structures include the solar wind piling up at the leading edge of a CME, voids in the interior, long thread-like structures, and rear cusps. Quiet periods show a magnetic disconnection phenomenon called a plasmoid, "puffs" that correlate with in-situ , and V-shaped structures centered on the current sheet — a heliospheric structure in which the polarity of the Sun's magnetic field changes from north to south.

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Newly reprocessed archival data from STEREO-A/SECCHI show details of the first Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME) of the STEREO mission, from inception on December 12, 2008, to Earth impact on December 15, 2008. New processing enables following the details of the CME with the wide-field heliospheric imager cameras, out to impact with the Earth 93 million miles from the Sun. Credit: SwRI/NASA

"For the first time, we can see directly the larger scale structures that cause blips in the solar wind impacting our spacecraft and Earth," said SwRI's Dr. Craig DeForest, lead author of an Astrophysical Journal article released online yesterday. "There is still a great deal to be learned from these data, but they are already changing the way we think about the solar wind."

"For 30 years," said co-author Dr. Tim Howard, also of SwRI, "we have been trying to understand basic anatomy of CMEs and magnetic clouds, and how they correspond to their source structures in the solar corona. By tracking these features through the image data we can establish what parts of a space weather storm came from which parts of the solar corona, and why."

The team used a combination of image processing techniques to generate the images over a distance of more than 1 AU (astronomical unit), overcoming the greatest challenge in heliospheric imaging, that of extracting faint signals amid far brighter foreground and background signals. Small "blobs" of solar wind tracked by the team were more than 10 billion times fainter than the surface of the full Moon and 10 thousand times fainter than the starfield behind them.

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Image plane data are distorted using so-called “conformal radial” mapping to present both the Sun and the wide-field planetary field in the same screen. Credit: SwRI

"These data are like the first demonstration weather satellite images that revolutionized meteorology on Earth," said DeForest. "At a glance it is possible to see things from a satellite that cannot be extracted from the very best weather stations on the ground. But both types of data are required to understand how storms develop."

In particular, the new images reveal the shape and density of Jupiter-sized clouds of material in the so-called empty space between planets; in contrast, in-situ probes such as the WIND and ACE spacecraft reveal immense detail about the , at a single point in space.

Explore further: ISEE-3 comes to visit Earth

More information: The paper, "Observations of Detailed Structure in the Solar Wind at 1 AU with STEREO/HI-2," by DeForest, Howard and S.J. Tappin (National Solar Observatory) was published online yesterday for the September 1, 2011 print issue of the Astrophysical Journal.

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omatumr
1 / 5 (5) Aug 19, 2011
"These data are like the first demonstration weather satellite images that revolutionized meteorology on Earth"


Thank you for this interesting story on the Sun's impact on Earth's climate!

As support for the AGW story vanishes, it is encouraging to see new interest in the origin of the solar wind and CMEs from Earth's violently unstable heat source.

Professors Ninham, Fribery and I published a paper on this subject a few years ago ["Super-fluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate", Journal of Fusion Energy 21, 193-198 (2002)]:

http://arxiv.org/.../0501441

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA principal
Investigator for Apollo
omatumr
1 / 5 (5) Aug 19, 2011
Why has the US Department of Energy (DOE) failed for ten (10) years to confirm or deny reports that neutron repulsion is the energy source that powers the Sun and sustains life on Earth (1,2)?

1. "The Sun's origin, composition and source of energy", 32nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conf., 1041 (March 12-16, 2001)

www.omatumr.com/lpsc.prn.pdf

http://xxx.lanl.g.../0411255

2. "Attraction and repulsion of nucleons: Sources of stellar energy", Journal of Fusion Energy 19, 93-98 (2001):

www.omatumr.com/a...tnuc.pdf

http://scholarsmi...928.html

The new Congress is unlikely to approve more funding for research agencies that followed instead the fantasy science of Al Gore and the UN's IPCC.
omatumr
1 / 5 (4) Aug 20, 2011
Consensus science is Big Brothers tool to control people & information. World leaders secretly formed BB to protect the world (themselves) from the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation.

That noble goal cannot be achieved in democratic societies by deception.

It is encouraging that Australian citizens are uniting in convoys headed to Canberra for a show of no confidence in government leaders support for the AGW story and the environmentalist movement [1].

Since world leaders and leaders of scientific organizations and the news media apparently secretly united about 40 years ago to support environmentalism and AGW (anthropogenic global climate change) propaganda of the day,

Citizens of the world must now unite in demanding an end to tyranny and restoration of the basic right of citizens to control their governments.

1. No Confidence Rally, The Internat'l News Magazine
www.international...ce-rally
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2011
Ah yes instead of answering relevant question Oliver makes another wild rant. A man who lived a lie is ranting that other are liars. Mainly because science has rejected his unsupported inanity.

Do support yourself someday Oliver. Surely you must be able to produce something in the way of evidence. After all if you can't then any competent honest scientist would admit that his idea was wrong.

Ethelred

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