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Fraser
2004-Sep-02, 04:45 PM
SUMMARY: A mystery that has puzzled astronomers for years is: why does the Sun's temperature rise as you get further away from it? While the surface of the Sun might only be 6000 degrees Celsius, the corona which surrounds it can be 2 million degrees. The "wave heating" theory proposes that the Sun's magnetic field carries waves of heat from the surface of the Sun and dumps them into the corona. Another theory proposes that lines in the Sun's magnetic field get twisted up and eventually snap, releasing a tremendous amount of energy into the corona.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

lswinford
2004-Sep-02, 07:54 PM
I'm not the brightest bulb in this website's discussions and forums, but this problem intuitively speaks to me. When I heard Dr. Oliver Manuel's suspicions of an iron-core sun, which was reminiscent, though not identical, to some old stories told in schools before the mid-1960's, it made me wonder. What is under the covers of our nearest star? It somehow didn't seem quite the fit to the descriptions I was hearing since. Another, whose name I'm sorry that I've long ago forgotten, described the spherical lines of magnetic force, saying that there are zones of magnetism that will surely be observed or discovered in our solar system, and the corona and heliopause were two primary examples. All this may be poohed as stupid science, but it is fun to see discussions that make me look back and think 'maybe they weren't such cracked pots, as popularly portrayed, as we've been led to believe after all.'

I remember hearing words like "absurd" in use when continental drift was discussed in the 1960's. I remember one science teacher, my own father, shaking his head over Van Allen's radiation belts and the notion of their being a radiation buffer protecting our planet. I still have a biology book that he taught from describing human genetics in the broadest, vaguest terms being defined by our 48, not 46, chromosomes.

Let's see, I think OM discussed the sun's magnetic field and superconductive matter...maybe I'll look at that again.

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-02, 08:08 PM
Interesting.

This is really about a workshop where astrophysicists hope to unravel "one of the Sun's greatest mysteries."

Those who have confidently stated that the Sun is perfectly well understood as a ball of hydrogen may benefit from these quotes:

[1.] "Understanding our nearest star is important because its behaviour has such an immense impact on our planet. This star provides all the light, heat and energy required for life on Earth and yet there is still much about the Sun that is shrouded in mystery."

[2.] "It is totally counter intuitive that the Sun's temperature should rise as you move away from the hot surface."

[3.] "The Sun is the only star astronomers can study in close detail and many questions remain."

[4.] "It is now believed that the Sun's strong magnetic field is the culprit behind this unique phenomenon."

Yes, lswinford, Professors Barry W. Ninham, Stig E. Friberg and I discussed the sun's magnetic field and superconductivity in the paper:

"Superfluidity in the Solar Interior: Implications for Solar Eruptions and Climate", J. Fusion Energy 21 (2003) 193-198

http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-s...perfluidity.pdf (http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-superfluidity.pdf)
http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-s...uperfluidity.ps (http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-superfluidity.ps)

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

antoniseb
2004-Sep-02, 08:40 PM
Originally posted by om@umr.edu@Sep 2 2004, 08:08 PM
Those who have confidently stated that the Sun is perfectly well understood as a ball of hydrogen may benefit from these quote
Just out of curiosity, who has said that the sun is perfectly well understood as a ball of hydrogen?

Guest
2004-Sep-03, 05:33 AM
nice to see we are still learning amazing stuff about the Sun B)

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-03, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by Guest@Sep 3 2004, 05:33 AM
nice to see we are still learning amazing stuff about the Sun* B)
Yes, it is great that questions are being asked.

This story concerns what may be learned about the Sun in a few days when UK solar astrophysicists host "a major international workshop at the University of St Andrews from September 6-9th 2004."

The conference will apparently focus on the Sun and its magnetic fields.

Here are a three background news stories:

[1.] A report on measurements of the Sun's magnetic fields with the Ulysses spacecraft:

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=13022

[2.] A report that iron as a superfluid in the Sun may cause solar magnetic fields and solar flares:

http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/ir...ing_flares.html (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/iron_causing_flares.html)

[3.] A report that metals like iron and nickel are abundant on the surfaces of Sun-like stars with little sunspot activity:

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/release...1_maunder.shtml (http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/06/01_maunder.shtml)

(The Sun is believed to have had very little sunspot activity over a 70-year period, from 1645-1714, that coincides with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age in Europe and North America.)

Here are some puzzles that may by "unravelled" at the University of St Andrews workshop:

[1.] What is the source of the Sun's magnetic fields?

[2.] Do these magnetic fields cause coronal heating?

[3.] Do these magnetic fields accelerate H+ ions upward and generate the solar wind?

[4.] Do these magnetic fields cause all Sun-like stars to operate as giant magnetic mass separators, selectively moving lighter elements and lighter isotopes of each element to the solar surface?

The story repeatedly stresses the importance of more solar studies by pointing out that the Sun:

. . . . "provides all the light, heat and energy required for life on Earth and yet there is still much about the Sun that is shrouded in mystery."

. . . . "is the only star astronomers can study in close detail and many questions remain."

I hope the workshop is productive and look forward to a flood of solar news stories while it is underway, 6-9 September 2004.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Duane
2004-Sep-04, 04:13 AM
It is amazing to me how more and more observations are beginning to unravel the mysteries surrounding our star and its atmosphere.

muralmasters
2004-Sep-05, 09:54 AM
Is it possible that the corona is way hotter than than the sun because the particles
of the corona have space to roam and collide with great force while the particles
in the sun are limited in motion?

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-05, 02:21 PM
It is my understanding from thermodynamics that there must be a heat source to maintain this temperature difference. But thermo describes equilibrium conditions.

However, if an accelerating force extends into the corona you may have a point. There is a greater distance between the particles and their subsequest collisions there. That would be a problem of kinetics.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

StarLab
2004-Sep-05, 07:38 PM
Well, as one moves farther away from the sun, there are less particles per cc, and it is commonly accepted, as I understand it, that particles not slowed down by surrounding particles tend to move faster, meaning more Kelvins, which I assume simply translates into a higher temperature.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-06, 04:24 AM
Seems reasonable to me, StarLab.

But this is not something I have studied in detail.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-06, 01:52 PM
Hey! No Labor Day over there.

Today the solar astrophysics workshop starts at the University of St Andrews. Let's hope for some news items on:

[1.] The source of the Sun's magnetic fields.

[2.] The cause of coronal heating.

[3.] Forces that accelerate H+ ions and generate the solar wind.

[4.] The possibility of mass separation in the Sun and other Sun-like stars.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

StarLab
2004-Sep-06, 03:43 PM
Mm-hmm...and, what's their website?

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-06, 04:39 PM
StarLab,

The original tantalizing news release came from:

http://www.pparc.ac.uk/Nw/soho15.asp

It lists the following contacts:

Julia Maddock
Community Press Officer
Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council
Tel +44 (0)1793 442094, Mobile 07901 514975
Fax +44 (0)1793 442002
Email: julia.maddock@pparc.ac.uk *

Dr Robert Walsh (Co-organiser of SOHO15)
Centre for Astrophysics
University of Central Lancashire
Phone: 01772-893557 or 07795 566591
E-mail: rwwalsh@uclan.ac.uk
Special expertise: the Sun; Coronal Heating; Magnetic Loops; SOHO, TRACE, Solar-B

Dr. Jack Ireland (Co-organiser of SOHO15)
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt MD, USA
Phone: 01334 463753 (while in the UK) or* 07821 610 163
E-mail: ireland@cdso8.nascom.nasa.gov
Special expertise: the Sun; Coronal Heating; Waves; SOHO, TRACE, STEREO

Prof. Alan Hood
Solar and Magnetospheric Theory Group
University of St. Andrews
Phone: 01334 463710
E-mail: alan@mcs.st-and.ac.uk
Special expertise: the Sun; computer simulations of the solar atmosphere

Prof. Richard Harrison
Head of Space Physics Division
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Email R.A.Harrison@rl.ac.uk
Tel: (44) 1235 44 6884
Special expertise: the Sun, fundamental processes in the Sun's atmosphere, solar mass ejection, development and operation of spectroscopic and imaging space instrumentation (SOHO, TRACE, STEREO, Solar - B )

University of Central Lancashire - Media and Public Relations Office
Chris Theobald
Phone: 01772 894424/5
E-mail: ctheobald@uclan.ac.uk

A lot of talent is represented there. I doubt if we will have to search for follow-up news releases.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

lswinford
2004-Sep-07, 01:41 PM
StarLab, as in 'higher energy electrons jump to higher energy orbits' then the corona is higher energy nuclei bouncing up to their higher energy zone. Neat idea, but still there seems to be a roof over their head.

Would that be some equilibrium zone where gravity balances out kenetic energy, a sort of practical limit like stadium roofs are built above where stadium balls were able to fly? Or would all that energetic corona plasma flowing along magnetic lines have the sun building its own plasma bottle? I like StarLab's description, but I also like Hood's (pparc link).

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-07, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by lswinford@Sep 7 2004, 01:41 PM
I like StarLab's description, but I also like Hood's (pparc link).
Lswinford,

Can you give us Hood's pparc link?

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

lswinford
2004-Sep-07, 09:31 PM
OM, um, I'm sorry, I was referring to Hood as mentioned in the pparc link you gave us (http://www.pparc.ac.uk/Nw/soho15.asp). I read that news piece and it mentioned his wave idea, as the corona was energetic like waves crashing on a beach. I was just trying to picture what it was crashing against. :blink:

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-08, 12:19 AM
Lswinford, I don't know about the waves.

But where is the news?

This story began with a promise,

"One of the Sun's greatest mysteries is about to be unravelled by UK solar astrophysicists . . ."

Still waiting,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Duane
2004-Sep-08, 12:21 AM
Typical news story hey? Maybe it will come out at the conference. I agree with Oliver here--didn't see much of an answer in that story.

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-08, 04:34 AM
Oh, well.

The Genesis stunt catch will give us headlines in the morning.

Don Burnett better grab that capsule and run straight to the lab, before

"... the Sun's greatest mysteries" are "unravelled by UK solar astrophysicists . . ." at the University of St Andrews!

Hmmm.

Didn't SSM already solve all the solar mysteries?

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Duane
2004-Sep-08, 04:53 AM
:rolleyes:

antoniseb
2004-Sep-08, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by om@umr.edu@Sep 8 2004, 04:34 AM
Didn't SSM already solve all the solar mysteries?
Where did you ever see that written? If all the solar mysteries were solved, we'd stop doing research on the sun wouldn't we. However it is certainly not an all or nothing affair. SSM has solved SOME solar mysteries, such as the current power source. The mechanism for heating the corona is important, but is a small detail compared to how the sun generates energy.

How's your hunt for neutron decay anti-neutrinos going?

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-08, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Duane@Sep 8 2004, 12:21 AM
Typical news story hey? Maybe it will come out at the conference. I agree with Oliver here--didn't see much of an answer in that story.
Regretfully, Duane, you were right.

Here is the message I received this morning from Julia Maddock, the
Community Press Officer:

"Dear Oliver,

Thanks for your interest. I'm sorry to cause disappointment, but I'm
afraid that we aren't expecting any news releases during the conference.
The talks will be too technical to translate easily for the media and
their attention will be at the BA Festival where there is an abundance
of easy stories.

Hopefully there will be an outcome to the SOHO conference with some
sort of concensus between the scientists on dominant mechanisms, they
will also be producing a new reference source to be the working book for
researchers in this field.

Best wishes,
Julia"

----------------------------------------------------
Julia Maddock
Community Press Officer

Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council
Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN2 1SZ, United
Kingdom
Tel +44 (0)1793 442094, Mobile 07901 514975
Fax +44 (0)1793 442002
Email: julia.maddock@pparc.ac.uk
Web: www.pparc.ac.uk

Let's chalk one up for Duane!

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Duane
2004-Sep-08, 02:34 PM
Thanks Oliver, although I feel obliged to point out that I was simply agreeing with you :)

Maybe something will come out of it later--I've crossed my fingers.

Mild mannered
2004-Sep-08, 02:57 PM
Ok

Really, really, really dumn question

When I've got a bunsen burner and check the heat of the flame it's way hotter towards the outside of the flame than it is at the center and glows a fifferent colour

Now I know why this does this but the sun apperently does a similar trick with different constituents - does it glow hotter, burn differently at the corona? Is the duller cooler patch near the sun anything to do with a simple thing like this taken to huge proportions and adding in magnetic fields, crushing gravity, mad stray particles -etc...?

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-08, 04:19 PM
Welcome, Mild mannered.

Your analogy to the Bunsen burner is great!

We think the outer part of the flame is where most heat is generated. But the SSM claims that all of the Sun's energy is generated in the Sun's core.

Coronal heating is only one of many mysteries not yet deciphered about the Sun.

In fact, scientists realize little is definitely known about the Sun, including

[1] The origin of its magnetic fields,

[2] What causes the 22-year solar cycle, and

[3] The Maunder minimum - when these shut down,

[4] If surface Fe and Ni become more abundant then,

[5] What causes the solar wind,

[6] Why excess light isotopes are in the solar wind,

[7] Why solar flares have less light isotopes,

[8] Why solar flares have more heavy elements,

[9] The origin of solar luminosity.

We try to address some of these puzzling observations in a new solar model:

"Superfluidity in the Solar Interior: Implications for Solar Eruptions and Climate", J. Fusion Energy 21 (2003) pages 193-198. If not in your library, here are pdf and ps links.

http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-s...perfluidity.pdf (http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-superfluidity.pdf)
http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-s...uperfluidity.ps (http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-superfluidity.ps)

Scientists wannabees dogmatically claim to have the answers.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Duane
2004-Sep-08, 04:48 PM
Scientists wannabees dogmatically claim to have the answers.

And psuedo-scientists pretend to have "evidence" to counter. Anyone seen Lieder around lately?

lswinford
2004-Sep-08, 05:27 PM
Sorry, I heard Genesis didn't get caught, the chute didn't open.

om@umr.edu
2004-Sep-08, 06:19 PM
Yes, Lswinford, its a sad day for space science.

First the message from St Andrews saying the Sun's greatest mysteries would not be revealed today by UK solar astrophysicists.

Then the loss of Don Burnett's solar wind sample.

Anyway, Lswinford, on a positive note:

The solar wind samples collected in lunar soils for billions of years probably tell the Sun's overall operation better than would a sample collected for 27 months during a period of high sunspot activity.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

VanderL
2004-Sep-08, 09:37 PM
I think that something can be salvaged from the Genesis wreckage, it looks as though the sample could still be intact.

Duane who is this Lieder you're referring to?

Cheers.

Duane
2004-Sep-08, 09:49 PM
Nancy Leider, the person who claims Planet X was going to pass by the Earth in May 2003 causing the lithosphere to flip and killing eveything on Earth. Or along those lines.