Scientists peek into the Sun by estimating magnetic fields using radio observations

What is the News?

Indian scientists along with international collaborators have measured the magnetic field of an eruption from the Sun’s atmosphere offering a rare peek to the interior of the Sun. 

About the Study

Scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) studied the weak thermal radio emission associated with the erupted plasma for the first time.

The team studied the plasma from the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that happened in 2016.

Note: Plasma is known as the fourth state of matter. At high temperatures, electrons are ripped from an atom’s nuclei and become a plasma or an ionised state of matter.

What did they find out?

Scientists were able to measure the polarisation of this emission, which is indicative of the direction in which the electric and magnetic components of the waves oscillate.

About Coronal Mass Ejections(CME)

Coronal Mass Ejection(CME) is an ejection of highly magnetised particles from the sun. During a CME, enormous bubbles of superheated gas – called plasma – are ejected from the sun.

Cause: The underlying cause of CMEs is not well understood. However, astronomers agree, that the sun’s magnetic field plays a major role.

Where do CMEs occur? Though CMEs can occur anywhere on the Sun, it is primarily those which originate from regions near the centre of the visible solar surface (called the photosphere) that are important for study, since they may propagate directly towards the Earth.

Impact of CMEs: When a really strong CME blows past the Earth, it can damage the electronics in satellites and disrupt radio communication networks on Earth.

Source: This post is based on the articleScientists peek into the Sun by estimating magnetic fields using radio observationspublished in PIB on 9th September 2021.

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