Solar Dynamics Observatory – STUNNING first images and movies

Images and movies are now available from NASA. I’ve posted them here as promised. The movies available at links below are stunning, Enjoy. Press release also follows. – Anthony

Image.  Sorry, no additional  description available at the time.

click for a larger image

Images from the SDO Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA)

The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) views the lower atmosphere of the Sun in ultraviolet wavelengths where we can see hot plasma moving along magnetic field lines.

link to gallery item CME Event of April 8, 2010 Full Disk  (multiband)

CME Event of April 8, 2010 Full Disk (multiband)

link to gallery item CME Event of April 8, 2010 (multband)

CME Event of April 8, 2010 (multband)

link to gallery item Zoom-In on Launching Filament (multi-band)

Zoom-In on Launching Filament (multi-band)

link to gallery item Close-Up of Launching Filament (Bands 304)

Close-Up of Launching Filament (Bands 304)

link to gallery item Full-Disk View of Launching Filament (Bands  304)

Full-Disk View of Launching Filament (Bands 304)

link to gallery item Zoom-in of Launching Filament (Bands 304) Zoom-in of Launching Filament (Bands 304)

Images from the SDO Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI)

The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) images the Sun in a set of narrow wavelengths which enables us to study motions at the solar surface and collect magnetic field information.

link to gallery item Continuum Full Disk View - March 29, 2010

Continuum Full Disk View – March 29, 2010

link to gallery item Continuum Sunspot Closeup - March 29, 2010

Continuum Sunspot Closeup – March 29, 2010

link to gallery item Continuum Sunspot Zoom-in - March 29, 2010

Continuum Sunspot Zoom-in – March 29, 2010

link to gallery item Continuum Full Disk View - April 7, 2010

Continuum Full Disk View – April 7, 2010

link to gallery item Magnetogram Full Disk View - March 29, 2010

Magnetogram Full Disk View – March 29, 2010

link to gallery item Magnetogram Sunspot Close-Up - March 29,  2010

Magnetogram Sunspot Close-Up – March 29, 2010

link to gallery item Magnetogram Sunspot Zoom-In - March 29, 2010

Magnetogram Sunspot Zoom-In – March 29, 2010

link to gallery item Magnetogram Full Disk View - April 7, 2010

Magnetogram Full Disk View – April 7, 2010

link to gallery item Dopplergram Sunspot Close-Up - March 29,  2010

Dopplergram Sunspot Close-Up – March 29, 2010

Here’s the press release:

Dwayne C. Brown

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-1726

dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Susan Hendrix

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

301-286-7745

susan.m.hendrix@nasa.gov

RELEASE: 10-091

NASA’S NEW EYE ON THE SUN DELIVERS STUNNING FIRST IMAGES

WASHINGTON – NASA’s recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is returning early images that confirm an unprecedented new capability for scientists to better understand our sun’s dynamic processes. These solar activities affect everything on Earth.

Some of the images from the spacecraft show never-before-seen detail of material streaming outward and away from sunspots. Others show extreme close-ups of activity on the sun’s surface. The spacecraft also has made the first high-resolution measurements of solar flares in a broad range of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths.

“These initial images show a dynamic sun that I had never seen in more than 40 years of solar research,” said Richard Fisher, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “SDO will change our understanding of the sun and its processes, which affect our lives and society. This mission will have a huge impact on science, similar to the impact of the Hubble Space Telescope on modern astrophysics.”

Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, SDO is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun. During its five-year mission, it will examine the sun’s magnetic field and also provide a better understanding of the role the sun plays in Earth’s atmospheric chemistry and climate. Since launch, engineers have been conducting testing and verification of the spacecraft’s components. Now fully operational, SDO will provide images with clarity 10 times better than high-definition television and will return more comprehensive science data faster than any other solar observing spacecraft.

SDO will determine how the sun’s magnetic field is generated, structured and converted into violent solar events such as turbulent solar wind, solar flares and coronal mass ejections. These immense clouds of material, when directed toward Earth, can cause large magnetic storms in our planet’s magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. SDO will provide critical data that will improve the ability to predict these space weather events.

Space weather has been recognized as a cause of technological problems since the invention of the telegraph in the 19th century. These events produce disturbances in electromagnetic fields on Earth that can induce extreme currents in wires, disrupting power lines and causing widespread blackouts. These solar storms can interfere with communications between ground controllers, satellites and airplane pilots flying near Earth’s poles. Radio noise from the storm also can disrupt cell phone service.

SDO will send 1.5 terabytes of data back to Earth each day, which is equivalent to a daily download of half a million songs onto an MP3 player. The observatory carries three state-of the-art instruments for conducting solar research.

The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager maps solar magnetic fields and looks beneath the sun’s opaque surface. The experiment will decipher the physics of the sun’s activity, taking pictures in several very narrow bands of visible light. Scientists will be able to make ultrasound images of the sun and study active regions in a way similar to watching sand shift in a desert dune. The instrument’s principal investigator is Phil Scherrer of Stanford University.  HMI was built by a collaboration of Stanford University and the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory.

The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly is a group of four telescopes designed to photograph the sun’s surface and atmosphere. The instrument covers 10 different wavelength bands, or colors, selected to reveal key aspects of solar activity. These types of images will show details never seen before by scientists. The principal investigator is Alan Title of the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, Calif., which built the instrument.

The Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment measures fluctuations in the sun’s radiant emissions. These emissions have a direct and powerful effect on Earth’s upper atmosphere — heating it, puffing it up, and breaking apart atoms and molecules. Researchers don’t know how fast the sun can vary at many of these wavelengths, so they expect to make discoveries about flare events. The principal investigator is Tom Woods of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. LASP built the instrument.

“These amazing images, which show our dynamic sun in a new level of detail, are only the beginning of SDO’s contribution to our understanding of the sun,” said SDO project scientist Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

SDO is the first mission of NASA’s Living with a Star Program, or LWS, and the crown jewel in a fleet of NASA missions that study our sun and space environment. The goal of LWS is to develop the scientific understanding necessary to address those aspects of the connected sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. Goddard built, operates and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

To view the images and learn more about the SDO mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/sdo

-end-

======================

h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard

Dwayne C. Brown

Headquarters, Washington                                                                     April 21, 2010

202-358-1726

dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Susan Hendrix

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

301-286-7745

susan.m.hendrix@nasa.gov

RELEASE: 10-091

NASA’S NEW EYE ON THE SUN DELIVERS STUNNING FIRST IMAGES

WASHINGTON – NASA’s recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is returning early images that confirm an unprecedented new capability for scientists to better understand our sun’s dynamic processes. These solar activities affect everything on Earth.

Some of the images from the spacecraft show never-before-seen detail of material streaming outward and away from sunspots. Others show extreme close-ups of activity on the sun’s surface. The spacecraft also has made the first high-resolution measurements of solar flares in a broad range of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths.

“These initial images show a dynamic sun that I had never seen in more than 40 years of solar research,” said Richard Fisher, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “SDO will change our understanding of the sun and its processes, which affect our lives and society. This mission will have a huge impact on science, similar to the impact of the Hubble Space Telescope on modern astrophysics.”

Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, SDO is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun. During its five-year mission, it will examine the sun’s magnetic field and also provide a better understanding of the role the sun plays in Earth’s atmospheric chemistry and climate. Since launch, engineers have been conducting testing and verification of the spacecraft’s components. Now fully operational, SDO will provide images with clarity 10 times better than high-definition television and will return more comprehensive science data faster than any other solar observing spacecraft.

SDO will determine how the sun’s magnetic field is generated, structured and converted into violent solar events such as turbulent solar wind, solar flares and coronal mass ejections. These immense clouds of material, when directed toward Earth, can cause large magnetic storms in our planet’s magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. SDO will provide critical data that will improve the ability to predict these space weather events.

Space weather has been recognized as a cause of technological problems since the invention of the telegraph in the 19th century. These events produce disturbances in electromagnetic fields on Earth that can induce extreme currents in wires, disrupting power lines and causing widespread blackouts. These solar storms can interfere with communications between ground controllers, satellites and airplane pilots flying near Earth’s poles. Radio noise from the storm also can disrupt cell phone service.

SDO will send 1.5 terabytes of data back to Earth each day, which is equivalent to a daily download of half a million songs onto an MP3 player. The observatory carries three state-of the-art instruments for conducting solar research.

The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager maps solar magnetic fields and looks beneath the sun’s opaque surface. The experiment will decipher the physics of the sun’s activity, taking pictures in several very narrow bands of visible light. Scientists will be able to make ultrasound images of the sun and study active regions in a way similar to watching sand shift in a desert dune. The instrument’s principal investigator is Phil Scherrer of Stanford University.  HMI was built by a collaboration of Stanford University and the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory.

The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly is a group of four telescopes designed to photograph the sun’s surface and atmosphere. The instrument covers 10 different wavelength bands, or colors, selected to reveal key aspects of solar activity. These types of images will show details never seen before by scientists. The principal investigator is Alan Title of the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, Calif., which built the instrument.

The Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment measures fluctuations in the sun’s radiant emissions. These emissions have a direct and powerful effect on Earth’s upper atmosphere — heating it, puffing it up, and breaking apart atoms and molecules. Researchers don’t know how fast the sun can vary at many of these wavelengths, so they expect to make discoveries about flare events. The principal investigator is Tom Woods of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. LASP built the instrument.

“These amazing images, which show our dynamic sun in a new level of detail, are only the beginning of SDO’s contribution to our understanding of the sun,” said SDO project scientist Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

SDO is the first mission of NASA’s Living with a Star Program, or LWS, and the crown jewel in a fleet of NASA missions that study our sun and space environment. The goal of LWS is to develop the scientific understanding necessary to address those aspects of the connected sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. Goddard built, operates and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

To view the images and learn more about the SDO mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/sdo

-end-

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Fred2

I was so looking foward to full colour detailed views of the next Carrington event…and then I realized, SOB, the internets will be fried, and so will the power grid. Bummer.
Things will be so much less fun in a new middle ages with 30x the sustainable population.

“WASHINGTON – NASA’s recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is returning early images that confirm an unprecedented new capability for scientists to better understand our sun’s dynamic processes. These solar activities affect everything on Earth.***”
*** Except climate, which is affected by Range Rovers and cow farts.

PaulH

Wow!! It sure makes one feel small.

Henry chance

And the administration wants to slash space funding and take us back to the nostalgic era of trains.

It’s quite stunning indeed. Our Mighty Majestic Sol in her full power and glory.
“The theory that climate change is chiefly caused by solar influences “is no longer tenable,” says US National Academy of Sciences president Ralph Cicerone. Carbon dioxide, he argues, is the key driver of recent climate change. I beg to differ. … We have known for nearly 80 years that small changes in solar activity can cause large climatic changes. Where sunlight falls, for how long, and with what effect, determine how climate will respond. …I recently discovered direct evidence that changes in solar activity have influenced what has been called the “conveyor-belt” circulation of the great Atlantic Ocean currents over the past 240 years. For instance, solar-driven changes in temperature, and in the volume of freshwater output from the Arctic, cause variations in sea surface temperature in the tropical Atlantic 5-20 years later.” – Willie Soon
http://pathstoknowledge.net/2009/03/08/it%E2%80%99s-the-sun-stupid/

meemoe_uk

Nice. I wonder if when the later images, the ropey ones where the filament is falling back, were being downloaded, a message came up at NASA HQ’s 10metre main display saying ‘internet explorer cannot connect to the internet, please check your connection’. Bloody AOL .

Another piece of the puzzle, with great images too.

H.R.

Continuum Sunspot Closeup – March 29, 2010
I see spots!
(Kewl images.)

rolsthro

Fascinating images,
It’s hard to imagine, when looking at the enormity and magnificence of the sun, that it isn’t primarily responsible for all of climatic conditions on earth!
Except maybe warming as this is undoubtedly due to trace amounts of C02!

TGSG

I clicked through on the “magnetogram sunspot close-up” to see one of the movies, stunning BTW, and noticed a spinning globe on that page. It shows a northern hemisphere view and, sadly, the north pole is ice free.

rbateman

Well, I am flattered a bit that they chose to present the Ultraviolet frames in a narrowband RGB scheme, but the reds are too weak.
Leif, they don’t quite understand how to get the best effects when it comes to color image processing.
I’ll see what I can do.

J_M

David after Dentist: “Is this real life?”
Seriously, those images and movies are amazing!

enneagram

Six spotless days in a row!, quiet sun is back!. That ofto better understand our sun’s dynamic processes…..Only movements (dynamos) guys?
Flintstones’ universe anyone?, come on!, thought that astronomy “a la belle epoque” have passed away long ago!

Holy Cats! I was not expecting that. I’ve bookmarked it and dedicated some hard drive space for images.

paullm

Fred2 (11:44:20) :
I was so looking foward to full colour detailed views of the next Carrington event…and then I realized, SOB, the internets will be fried, and so will the power grid. Bummer.
Things will be so much less fun in a new middle ages with 30x the sustainable population.

Wow. Talk about fun! You must be a really fun guy to be around. Maybe if you’d get out and do something constructive – like chop some firewood for next winter.

Alexander

WOW!

Tom in Florida

rolsthro (12:49:06) :”It’s hard to imagine, when looking at the enormity and magnificence of the sun, that it isn’t primarily responsible for all of climatic conditions on earth”
For conditions in general but not large climate shifts based on tiny variances of TSI.

TGSG (12:56:31):
“I …noticed a spinning globe on that page. It shows a northern hemisphere view and, sadly, the north pole is ice free.”
It seems that NASA is doing that everywhere. Here’s a page showing satellite images: click
When you scroll across the Northern Hemisphere images, you’ll notice that the Arctic is ice-free except for Greenland.
But when you click on an image, there’s ice all across the Arctic.

rbateman (12:56:57) :
Leif, they don’t quite understand how to get the best effects when it comes to color image processing. I’ll see what I can do.
There’ll be new images every few seconds, so the process will have to be automated. Or perhaps just picking one a day.
enneagram (13:00:27) :
Six spotless days in a row!, quiet sun is back!. That ofto better understand our sun’s dynamic processes…..Only movements (dynamos) guys?
Flintstones’ universe anyone?, come on!, thought that astronomy “a la belle epoque” have passed away long ago!

All activity is caused by weakly conducting plasma [the photosphere is no more conducting than seawater] being pushed across magnetic field lines, generating electric currents, that in turn heats the plasmas and basically cause the explosive events that we see.
Sean Peake (13:04:27) :
Holy Cats! I was not expecting that. I’ve bookmarked it and dedicated some hard drive space for images.
Better allocate a lot of space. There’ll be 1.5 TerraBytes every day [as much as 500,000 mp3 songs].

sHx

The red image of the sun is now my current desktop background. Previously, the desktop had an image of the Sun/Moon in full eclipse. Before that I had Hubble and repair shuttle eclipsing the Yellow disk of the Sun.
Can’t help it. The thing boggles the mind.

stephan

PWL you will have to convince Leif Svaalgaard first LOL (just joking).

stephan

Tom in FLA exactly
For conditions in general but not large climate shifts based on tiny variances of TSI.
Unfortunately probably means climate long term which includes “AGW”

Ron DeWitt

Folks tempted to use the word “enormity” should check out its meaning in the dictionary beforehand, because it may not mean what you think it does. Hint: it doesn’t mean real big.

Louis Hissink

pwl writes : “We have known for nearly 80 years that small changes in solar activity can cause large climatic changes”
The small observed changes are like an uncalibrated speedometer – think of the solar irradiance as an analog temperature gauge that hasn’t been calibrated.
The small changes in solar irradiance are indicative of larger, unseen, changes in plasma inputs and outputs (all electrical circuits are continuous), gravity and other EM “invisible” EM effects between the Sun, Earth and the solar system.
The reason small peturbations in the solar irradiance have so much effect on the climate is because the irradiance is a proxy for the invisible (to the naked eye) fluxes in the EM and plasma states.
The error many make is assuming that ALL the energy from the sun arrives at the Earth in the form of radiation. Some of it does, but alot of it, and we have not even begun measuring it, comes via the plasma circuit.
And all please realise that magnetic fields are caused by electric currents, there are no such things as magnetic field line reconnections, (these are actually exploding plasma double layers), nor can magnetic fields be “frozen” in plasma. Alfven initially proposed this idea, then after lab experiments, realised that he was wrong. He said so in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, but unfortunatley the rest of the astronomical community thereafter developed the affliction of cognitive deafness and while they might have listened to Alven address them, they never heard anything.

INGSOC

Finally. Solar Physicist porn.
Breathtaking images! One easily loses a sense of scale when viewing these videos. The size of the filament is incredible. Thank heavens for a magnetosphere.
Cheers!

kadaka

Coming soon to an IMAX theater near you.
Can they put up a matching satellite spaced a bit apart from the other? That would look great in 3D.
Hey, now there’s a great new funding model for NASA! $10 for 15 minutes of live streaming 3D at a big screen theater. I’d go!

pat

21 April: UK Daily Mail: Quieter activity on Sun may push Britain into a modern-day Little Ice Age
Professor Mike Lockwood started the investigation after he realised the past two cold British winters had coincided with a particularly quiet period in the Sun’s activity.
He was helped in his research by colleagues at Reading University, along with scientists at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire and the Max Planck Institute in Germany.
The team studied British weather records back to 1659. These were then compared with solar activity over the same period…
Professor Somi Solanki from the Max Planck Institute said this meant the recent cold weather did not contradict the theory that global warming is being caused by human activity.
‘The connection between solar activity and cold winters in Europe only became apparent after we subtracted the superimposed trend towards global warming,’ he said…
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1267757/Britain-facing-bitterly-cold-winters-drop-solar-winds.html

Louis Hissink (14:06:22) :
The error many make is assuming that ALL the energy from the sun arrives at the Earth in the form of radiation. Some of it does, but alot of it, and we have not even begun measuring it, comes via the plasma circuit.
no, less than 1/1000,000 does
here are no such things as magnetic field line reconnections, (these are actually exploding plasma double layers), nor can magnetic fields be “frozen” in plasma.
Please, not that again. Electric currents are caused by changing magnetic fields through a cross-section of a conductor. Even the current that comes out of your house outlets.

Dave Wendt

I haven’t been a big fan of NASA for quite some time, but I must admit they do do this type of thing very well. If they could be convinced to be just collectors and aggregators of the often important images and data they can provide and to limit their commentary to explaining what it is, without all the sermonizing about what it all means for the global political agenda, I might even be convinced that the billions spent on them is really a worthwhile expense.

pat

O/T apologies, tho ‘sun’ is in the newspaper’s name..LOL
21 April: Toronto Sun: Gore backed by group linked to oil industry?
MONTREAL – Five months after saying the exploitation of the tar sands was “one of the most serious threats to the human race,” former U.S. vice-president Al Gore came back to Montreal this week with financial backing from Investors Group, a Power Corporation affiliate that is indirectly involved in Alberta’s oil industry.
The man behind the documentary An Inconvenient Truth will participate Thursday in an international conference organized during the 2010 Millennium Summit. The event will also include Sarah Ferguson, duchess of York, and actress Kristin Davis of Sex and the City fame.
The event’s main sponsor is Investors Group, a Power Corp. company owned by the Desmarais family. The Desmarais family and their Belgian partner, Albert Frere, are the largest shareholders in oil company Total, which hopes to take three billion barrels of oil from the Alberta tar sands over the next 30 years. ..
http://www.torontosun.com/money/2010/04/21/13666791.html

John Wolf

Wow. Look at what we can do!

George E. Smith

“”” Leif Svalgaard (13:48:41) :
…….
All activity is caused by weakly conducting plasma [the photosphere is no more conducting than seawater] being pushed across magnetic field lines, generating electric currents, that in turn heats the plasmas and basically cause the explosive events that we see.
…….
Sean Peake (13:04:27) :
Holy Cats! I was not expecting that. I’ve bookmarked it and dedicated some hard drive space for images.
Better allocate a lot of space. There’ll be 1.5 TerraBytes every day [as much as 500,000 mp3 songs]. “””
Well I am sorry Leif; but there are not 500,000 MP3 songs to save.
But then it would be easy to jot down a computer program to write 500,000 MP3 songs; but who would want to, since there are so many people doing that already, and even more people paying money for them.
So the photosphere is no more conducting that sea water; a lot of people would consider sea water to be a short circuit; but then I imagine that photosphere ion densities are kinda low, in earth density terms.
Do you know off-hand what sort of electric field strengths are to be found in these parts of the sun; just for order of magnitude reference ?
George

Jeremy

Yes unlike “24” and Crime-Investigation TV shows, in real life pixels matter.

JohnD

You know it’s a fake, ’cause there’s no stars in the background 😉

Tom in Florida

stephan (13:59:37) : “Tom in FLA exactly…For conditions in general but not large climate shifts based on tiny variances of TSI.
Unfortunately probably means climate long term which includes “AGW” “.
No, no AGW of any consequence.

Dr T G Watkins

How is it that the US produces some, or most of, the best science in the world but also some of the shoddiest work ever published; even from the same agencies?
British science is forever damned (or at least for a long time) by our recent ‘investigations’.
Great post, as ever, Anthony and co.

Caleb

John Wolf (15:12:36) :
“Wow. Look at what we can do!”
Actually we aren’t doing it. The sun is. We are just learning how to watch it without burning our eyeballs out.

rbateman

JohnD (16:02:56) :
When was the last time you saw the stars in the night sky while staring into a floodlight?
As for the instruments on SDO, this is also why the exposure you use on your digital camera during the day is woefully insufficient to capture stars at night.

[off topic. please use tips and notes ~ ctm]

Bruce Armour

Leif Svalgaard (14:50:46) :
“Please, not that again. Electric currents are caused by changing magnetic fields through a cross-section of a conductor.”
Electrical transformers work that way – but the input to the transformer is electric current, not magnetic fields.
NASA says electric currents cause the solar magnetic fields.
http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/solarmag.html
“The electric currents in the Sun generate a complex magnetic field …”
An electric field creates electric current – there has to be a voltage drop for current to flow.

Graeme W

I just read in a newspaper report concerning the SDO:

Dean Pesnell, the chief scientist, said it has already disproved at least one theory, but he didn’t give any details.

Does anyone know what theory that might have been?

suricat

Well I must admit that I’m a bit disappointed. These images are just some of what we had before, but in HDTV format.
When will we get to see a greater depth into the solar atmosphere? Like an x-ray, or gamma ray, view? We need more ‘in depth’ viewing, not enhancement of superficial perspectives! This is a ‘voyeurism’ that panders only to the ‘fireworks’ crowd!
Sorry Anthony.
Best regards, suricat.

Scott Covert

Thank you Anthony.
This is so cool!

johnythelowery

Graeme W (17:56:50) :
I just read in a newspaper report concerning the SDO:
Dean Pesnell, the chief scientist, said it has already disproved at least one theory, but he didn’t give any details.
Does anyone know what theory that might have been?
21 04 2010
————————————————————-
AGW!

George E. Smith (15:13:29) :
Do you know off-hand what sort of electric field strengths are to be found in these parts of the sun; just for order of magnitude reference ?
Now, it doesn’t make sense to talk about an electric field without specifying a reference frame. If you move with velocity v a conductor in a magnetic field B, then the electric field in the frame of the conductor will be of order E = v x B. With v = 100 m/s and B = 0.2 Tesla, E becomes of order 20 Volt/meter. If the conductor is very large [millions of meters], voltage across the conductor will be in the millions of Volt. Such a large voltage cannot be sustained in a reasonably good conductor as a current will flow to short out the field, requiring a continuous movement to maintain the voltage. The current can heat the plasma explosively with the result that the organized movement is disrupted [CME leaving the sun] and the current dissipated. The energy for all this fireworks comes from the movement of the plasma that twists and amplifies the magnetic field storing energy in the magnetic field, increasing the electric field and the current until everything blows up and the pent up energy is expended. This quickly becomes very complicated as the currents also have magnetic fields that can act back on the moving plasma.

Bruce Armour (17:22:09) :
Electrical transformers work that way – but the input to the transformer is electric current, not magnetic fields.
And where [and how] do you get the electric current that serves as input?

James Sexton

@Fred2 (11:44:20) :
I was so looking foward to full colour detailed views of the next Carrington event…and then I realized, SOB, the internets will be fried, and so will the power grid. Bummer.
Things will be so much less fun in a new middle ages with 30x the sustainable population.
Fred, I hope that was ‘tongue in cheek’. There are so many whack jobs out there one can never tell any more. If it isn’t sustainable, then we won’t have them. Obviously, because we can’t. I think our internets will survive because Al wrote down the formula for his invention. We might even finally get to deploying IP VI!!!! Only, we won’t need it if everyone dies. sigh

suricat

Bruce Armour (17:22:09) :
“An electric field creates electric current – there has to be a voltage drop for current to flow.”
Well said!
The ‘depth of field’ that we are being shown into the sun only shows the magnetic flux. The ‘current’ that gives rise to this ‘magnetic flux’ lays in depths below this ‘depth of field’.
Perhaps we would better understand the current that gives rise to the magnetic flux if the transportation of plasma within the inner depths of the sun were better understood.
Best regards, suricat.

Bruce Armour (17:22:09) :
NASA says electric currents cause the solar magnetic fields.
http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/solarmag.html
“The electric currents in the Sun generate a complex magnetic field …”

The process is called a ‘dynamo’. Movements of plasma in an existing magnetic field induces an electric current that amplifies the field. An old-fashioned bicycle lamp works using that principle: http://www.practicalphysics.org/go/Experiment_345.html;jsessionid=ad0JYXDWn0b8
You need a magnetic field to begin with and some circulation of the plasma to provide the power.

Gary Hladik

Well, much as I hate to admit it, this is one government program where I think I got my money’s worth…already. Spectacular stuff. Thanks, Anthony.