Rossby Waves on the Sun Could Aid in Space Weather Prediction

  • Released Thursday, March 30th, 2017
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:47PM

To predict weather on a planet, we look at Rossby waves, large movement patterns in the atmosphere, like the jet stream. Just as on Earth, the conditions on the sun are constantly changing. This is why scientists were excited to discover Rossby waves on the sun. 

On the sun, the waves are driven by magnetic currents below the surface. Monitoring these waves and the disturbances they generate could help us make better long-term space weather predictions.

Solar Rossby wave imagery of courtsey of Scott W. McIntosh, NCAR/HAO


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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