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Featured I Observation of Alfvén waves heating the Sun's corona

  1. Mar 6, 2018 #1


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    The corona is much hotter than the surface of the Sun, contrary what you would naively expect from the heat flow. While plasma waves were long suspected as cause, the mechanism was not well understood. How are these waves produced, and how is their energy converted to heat?

    Scientists now observed the second part directly, and conclude that the conversion to heat is quite efficient.

    phys.org: Scientists crack 70-year-old mystery of how magnetic waves heat the sun

    Publication, Samuel D. T. Grant et al: Alfvén wave dissipation in the solar chromosphere
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  3. Mar 7, 2018 #2


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    I cannot claim to understand the experimental method, but the interpretation is really interesting. At the end of the paper they indicate an upcoming experiment should help gain understanding of the implications on a larger scale to see if the mechanism (which yields modest heating per wave event) can account for the orders of magnitude temperature increase from the solar surface to the corona. Really cool!

    Thanks for pointing us to this article!

  4. Mar 7, 2018 #3


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    thanks for that :smile:
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