Solar Inflow events

  • Thread starter AdamNailor
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Hi people.

Is there an explanation for the observations of streams of gas/plasma flowing into the sun? SOHO has observed a number of these inflowing events, travelling against the predominant direction of the solar wind, I think a good few thousand have been logged since they were originally seen a few years ago, and I'm curious as to what the possible explanations for this are. I thought that the sun gave out a solar wind, but did not take one in as well.

Naval Research: The Sun - Inflows

Astronomers spend a lot of time studying what flows away from the Sun, such as supercharged particles, hot gases, light, heat, and other types of energy. They want to know what is coming toward the Earth so that we can learn how to protect our astronauts, satellites, and communications. Now scientists believe that by studying material that flows into the Sun, they can better understand what comes out of the Sun.

The inflowing material was not discovered until 1997, when researchers studying images from the Large-Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) onboard the SOHO satellite noticed gas moving toward the Sun at speeds of 31 to 62 miles per second (50 to 100 km/s). The gas was somehow moving against the powerful solar wind, which, at this distance from the Sun carries material outward at 75 miles per second (120 km/s). [....]

"I was stunned when I saw the first movies showing these inflows," says Bernhard Fleck, ESA’s project scientist for the space mission. "Before this discovery by SOHO no one had any idea that gas could travel the wrong way, and be pushed back towards the Sun. Now we must learn from the inflows how the Sun regulates the magnetic fields carried by the solar wind, which are a key driver for the space weather we experience in the Earth’s vicinity."


Damn! I cant provide links. I need 15 posts or more. Thats highly annoying, anyway... just google "Naval Research: The Sun - Inflows" and it should pop up, along with other pages.

Can we deduce that the suns charge is pulling them in? Or is it more complex than that? I'm no expert on this sort of thing, hopefully someone here can give an explanation... seems like quite an enigmatic observation...
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Kurdt
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There have always been transonic inflows suspected and used to describe accretion in binary stars. It was a surprise for a single star but is generally attributed to magnetic field lines dragging gas back into the star.
 

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