Monday, April 23, 2007

Solar explosions generate acoustic waves

Pic: Coronal loops are generated by the Sun's magnetic field

Whenever there are descriptions about the size and scope of energy generated by the sun, it's pretty awe inspiring. And now, sound waves too!
"Solar explosions called micro-flares generate sound booms which are then propagated along the coronal loops....The coronal loops arch hundreds of thousands of kilometres above the Sun's surface like huge fiery fountains, and are generated by the Sun's magnetic field...As solar plasma travels from the photosphere into the loops, it is heated from about 6,000 Kelvin (5,700C) to upwards of one million Kelvin.Solar explosions called micro-flares can release energy equivalent to millions of hydrogen bombs.These blasts can send immensely powerful acoustic waves hurtling through the loops at tens of kilometres per second, creating cosmic "organ music". "These loops can be up to 100 million kilometres long and guide waves and oscillations in a similar way to a pipe organ"

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