Sun  ID: 12604

Scientists Uncover Origins of Dynamic Jets on Sun's Surface

At any given moment, as many as 10 million wild jets of solar material burst from the sun’s surface. They erupt as fast as 60 miles per second, and can reach lengths of 6,000 miles before collapsing. These are spicules, and despite their grass-like abundance, scientists didn’t understand how they form. Now, for the first time, a computer simulation — so detailed it took a full year to run — shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun’s surface and surge upward so quickly.

This work relied upon high-cadence observations from NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, and the Swedish 1-meter Solar Telescope in La Palma. Together, the spacecraft and telescope peer into the lower layers of the sun’s atmosphere, known as the interface region, where spicules form. The results of this NASA-funded study were published in Science on June 22, 2017 — a special time of the year for the IRIS mission, which celebrates its fourth anniversary in space on June 26.

Research: On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvénic waves.
Journal: Science, June 22, 2017.
Link to paper: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6344/1269.full

 

Source Material


For More Information

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/scientists-uncover-origins-of-the-sun-s-swirling-spicules


Credits

Lead Scientists:
Juan Martínez-Sykora (Lockheed Martin/BAER Institute)
Bart De Pontieu (Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab)

Lead Producer:
Joy Ng (USRA)

Lead Writer:
Kathalina Tran (KBRwyle)

Scientist:
Adrian Daw (NASA/GSFC)

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

Science Paper:
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6344/1269.full

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12604

Mission:
IRIS: Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph

This item is part of this series:
Narrated Movies

Keywords:
SVS >> Computer Model
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Model Data
NASA Science >> Sun
SVS >> IRIS Mission
SVS >> Alfven Waves
SVS >> Spicules
SVS >> Interface Region
SVS >> Coronal Heating
SVS >> Solar Surface
SVS >> Swedish-1 Solar Telescope
SVS >> Model Simulation
SVS >> Computer Simulation