Solar storm: Scientists measure evolving energy of a solar flare's explosive first minutes

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Solar storm: Scientists measure evolving energy of a solar flare's explosive first minutes 1

These fundamental processes are the same as those occurring in the most powerful astrophysical sources, including gamma ray bursts, as well as in laboratory experiments of interest to both basic research and the generation of practical fusion energy.

Using 13 antennas, EOVSA takes pictures at hundreds of frequencies in the 1-18 GHz range, including optical, ultraviolet, X-rays and radio wavelengths, within a second.

This ability to peer into the mechanics of flares opens new pathways to investigate the most powerful eruptions in our solar system, which are ignited by the reconnection of magnetic field lines on the Sun’s surface and powered by stored energy in the star’s corona.

Dale Gary, physics professor at NJIT and the paper’s co-author, said: “Microwave emission is the only mechanism that is sensitive to the coronal magnetic field environment, so the unique, high-cadence EOVSA microwave spectral observations are the key to enabling this discovery of rapid changes in the magnetic field.


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