Part of the Sun broke off and scientists have never seen anything like it -

26 March,

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Part of the Sun broke off and scientists have never seen anything like it

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Something strange just happened to the Sun.
Observations from Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) have shown that a chunk of our parent star effectively broke away and formed a vortex above its north pole.
Material from a filament of plasma that erupted from the sun’s surface can be seen swirling atop the giant ball of fire in remarkable footage shared on social media.
Scientists are saying they need more analysis to determine if this is exactly what happened but nevertheless, they’ve not ever seen anything quite like it before.
‘Implications for understanding the Sun’s atmospheric dynamics above 55° here cannot be overstated!’ wrote space weather physicist Dr. Tamitha Skov on Twitter, alongside a timelapse showing the vortex in action.
Despite the importance of the Sun to, well, everything on Earth, we still don’t know all that much about it.
What we do know is that it undergoes activity cycles roughly every 11 years and, at present, its activity is increasing. This means it’s spitting out more and more solar flares – including X-class ones, which are the biggest it’s capable of.
And, as a result, the emergence of a filament – also known as a solar prominence – around the Sun’s northern pole isn’t particularly noteworthy, the fact that it then ‘broke away’ is very unusual.
Observations indicated the vortex circled the Sun’s pole at 60 degrees latitude over the course of about eight hours. Experts say it was moving at a speed of 60 miles a second.
The scenes were captured by the SDO spacecraft, which observes the Sun’s dynamics to ‘increase understanding of the nature and sources of solar variability’.
SDO documents the outer atmosphere of the Sun – called the corona – as well as hot flare plasma.
It also produces amazing images of the sun showing the variations in radiation. Nasa explains: ‘Hot active regions, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections will appear bright here.
‘The dark areas – called coronal holes – are places where very little radiation is emitted, yet are the main source of solar wind particles.’


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