Unusual solar eruptions can help explain explosion on Sun
- Understanding the mechanism behind such events, especially CMEs, is of utmost importance to predicting when a large eruption might cause disruptions at Earth.
An explosion on the Sun is helping scientists uncover new information about what causes powerful solar eruptions and how one might be able to better predict them in the future.
Based on a study at American space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration, scientists said that this explosion contained components of three different types of solar eruptions that usually occur separately.
The eruption is the first of its kind to be reported.
A NASA video showed the eruption and talked about how solar outbursts can impact astronauts in space and technology on Earth.
"This event is a missing link, where we can see all of these aspects of different types of eruptions in one neat little package. It drives home the point that these eruptions are caused by the same mechanism, just at different scales," said solar scientist Emily Mason of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in a statement.
The study, which has been accepted at the American Astronomical Society meeting, will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
What is solar eruption?
Eruptions on the Sun usually come in one of three forms - a coronal mass ejection, a jet, or a partial eruption. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and jets are both explosive eruptions that cast energy and particles into space, but they look very different. While jets erupt as narrow columns of solar material, CMEs form huge bubbles that expand out, pushed and sculpted by the Sun’s magnetic fields. Partial eruptions, on the other hand, start erupting from the surface but don’t conjure enough energy to leave the Sun, so most of the material falls back down onto the solar surface.
Understanding the mechanism behind such events, especially CMEs, is of utmost importance to predicting when a large eruption might cause disruptions at Earth.