Predict magnetic storms: scientists have revealed the long-term mystery of solar flares

Predict magnetic storms: scientists have solved the long-term mystery of solar flares

According to scientists, they still have a theory that explains what is happening on the Sun, but it is very promising.

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Predict magnetic storms: scientists have solved the long-term mystery of solar flares

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As a result of a solar flare, such an amount of energy is released that could provide the Earth and mankind for as much as 20 thousand years. Solar flares are caused by a process called magnetic reconnection. And scientists have spent the last half century trying to understand how this process works. Now researchers say they have a theoretical explanation for what is happening. And this will help to better predict the occurrence of solar flares, which are the cause of dangerous geomagnetic storms on Earth, according to SciTechDaily.

American scientists who work under the auspices of NASA have developed a theory that explains how the most explosive type of magnetic reconnection, called fast reconnection, occurs and why it occurs at a constant rate.

“Finally, we understand what makes this type of magnetic reconnection so fast. We have a theory that fully explains it,” says Yi-Hsin Liu of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

What is magnetic reconnection?

Magnetic reconnection is the process during which magnetic field lines on the Sun come together and quickly realign. As a result, the energy of the magnetic field heats the nearest regions of the Sun’s atmosphere and accelerates charged particles to high speed.

Magnetic reconnection occurs in plasma, which is sometimes called the fourth state of matter. Plasma is very sensitive to magnetic fields. During solar flares, plasma undergoes magnetic reconnection, which quickly converts magnetic energy into heat and accelerates particles.

Predict magnetic storms: scientists solve decades-old mystery of solar flares But what actually drives this speed has remained a mystery until now,

New research explains how fast magnetic reconnection occurs. According to the new theory, fast reconnection is likely accelerated by the Hall effect, which describes the interaction between magnetic fields and electric current.

New theory

Scientists believe that during fast magnetic reconnection, the charged particles in the plasma stop moving as a group. They begin to move separately, the Hall effect occurs, which creates an unstable energy vacuum in which reconnection occurs. The pressure of magnetic fields around an energy vacuum causes an explosion, which quickly releases a huge amount of energy at a constant rate.

Predict magnetic storms: scientists have solved the long-term mystery of solar flares

Now scientists want to test their theory with spacecraft.

“I hope we can understand exactly how magnetic reconnection works. With this, we can better predict solar flares and geomagnetic storms that affect our lives on Earth and in near-Earth space,” says Giles.

Focus has already written that in late April and early May, two very powerful Class X flares occurred on the Sun. They are not had a special effect on the Earth, so they were directed in the other direction.

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