Nanoflares (FOXSI-2)

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Tiassa, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    (sigh): It was this or a picture of LADEE launching from Wallops.

    Sarah Frazier↱ of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center notes the arrival of a paper on the Focusing Optics Xray Solar Imager sounding rocket mission, a December, 2014 mission out of White Sands. Brief notes from her article:

    FOXSI detected a type of light called hard X-rays – whose wavelengths are much shorter than the light humans can see – which is a signature of extremely hot solar material, around 18 million degrees Fahrenheit. These kinds of temperatures are generally produced in solar flares, powerful bursts of energy. But in this case, there was no observable solar flare, meaning the hot material was most likely produced by a series of solar flares so small that they were undetectable from Earth: nanoflares. The results were published Oct. 9, 2017, in Nature Astronomy.

    Okay, so, the phrase, "18 million degrees Fahrenheit", is just awesome.

    These observations are a step toward understanding the coronal heating problem, which is how scientists refer to the extraordinarily – and unexpectedly – high temperatures in the Sun's outer atmosphere, the corona. The corona is hundreds to thousands of times hotter than the Sun's visible surface, the photosphere. Because the Sun produces heat at its core, this runs counter to what one would initially expect: normally the layer closest to a source of heat, the Sun's surface, in this case, would have a higher temperature than the more distant atmosphere.

    "If you've got a stove and you take your hand farther away, you don't expect to feel hotter than when you were close," said Lindsay Glesener, project manager for FOXSI-2 at the University of Minnesota and an author on the study.

    Believe it or not, this is one of the random things I remember from having taken basic astronomy to clear a science requirement once upon a time. I don't recall playing with numbers like eighteen million Fahrenheit.

    (Why need it be Celsius and Fahrenheit? Why can't we call them by their utility? Centigrade and Fuckup actually tell us what they do.)​

    For the moment, I'm looking around for an old link; NASA has more fun with sounding rockets than ought to be allowed.

    Oh, right. They said something about Nature Astronomy: "Detection of nanoflare-heated plasma in the corona by the FOXSI-2 sounding rocket" (Ishikawa et al.)↱



    Frazier, Sarah. "NASA Sounding Rocket Instrument Spots Signatures of Long-Sought Small Solar Flares". NASA. 13 October 2017. 15 October 2017.

    Ishikawa, Shin-nosuke, Lindsay Glesener, Säm Krucker. Steven Christe, Juan Camilo Buitrago-Casas, Noriyuke Narukage, and Juliana Vievering. "Detection of nanoflare-heated plasma in the corona by the FOXSI-2 sounding rocket". Nature Astronomy. 9 October 2017. DOI: 10.1038/s41550-017-0269-z. 15 Octover 2017.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Second that.
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  5. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    Because the region you move your hand to, away from the stove, is not a active region resulting from the activities of the Sun spewing out activities

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