Scientists Detect Strange And Unexpected Phenomenon In the Sun

Posted: September 3, 2018 by oldbrew in research, Solar physics
Tags: ,

Interesting. Another article reporting the solar gamma ray ‘mystery’ can be found here.
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Research paper (pdf): Evidence for a New Component of High-Energy Solar Gamma-Ray Production

The Next Grand Minimum

Devdiscourse News Desk 29 Aug 2018, 01:18 PM

New research by US scientists has detected that the Sun is emitting a higher than expected amount of high-energy light consisting of gamma rays. But the most unusual thing is that the rays with the highest energy appear when the star is at its least active point, according to the study, which is published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The work is the first investigation that has examined gamma rays over most of the solar cycle, a period of about 11 years during which the activity of the star increases and decreases.

The group of scientists, led by astrophysicist Tim Linden, analyzed data that NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray space telescope collected between August 2008 and November 2017. The observations included a period of low solar activity in 2008 and 2009, a period of greatest activity in 2013 and a reduction in activity…

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  1. oldbrew says:

    Under ‘Future outlook’ the research paper says:
    Preliminary estimates indicate that the Cycle 25 minimum will be even quieter than the already quiet Cycle 24 minimum.

  2. Gerry Pease says:

    Here’s an interesting article that links <100GEV gamma ray emissions from the Sun with solar minima and equatorial sunspot motion:

  3. Gerry Pease says:

    Make that >100GEV for some of them associated with CMEs originating from sunspots.

  4. oldbrew says:

    During solar minimum, most gamma rays above 50 GeV are emitted near the sun’s equator, but throughout the rest of the cycle they tend to come from the polar regions.
    . . .
    The cause of this pole/equator shift in gamma-ray emission remains unknown. “I tried to find an interpretation and I came up—one of the few times in my life—totally without any explanation,” Jokipii says.
    . . .
    Although Linden and his colleagues cannot yet explain exactly why or how gamma-ray emission shifts in step with the sun’s magnetic field, it is increasingly clear the two are somehow linked.
    – S.A. report

    Because solar minimum = magnetic reversal time?
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    What Is Electromagnetic Radiation?

    Electromagnetic (EM) radiation is a form of energy that is all around us and takes many forms, such as radio waves, microwaves, X-rays and gamma rays.
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    Now approaching an equinox at/near a solar minimum. Auroras usually more visible at high latitudes then but – ‘Every 11 years, the solar cycle of the sun goes into “solar minimum,” a period when there is less solar flare activity on the sun. This generally means people on Earth will see less northern lights in the sky.’

  5. oldbrew says:


    Gamma rays are high-energy electromagnetic radiation emitted in the de-excitation
    of the atomic nucleus. Electromagnetic radiation includes such diverse phenomena
    as radio, television, microwaves, infrared radiation, light, ultraviolet radiation, x rays,
    and gamma rays. These radiations all propagate through vacuum with the speed of
    light. They can be described as wave phenomena involving electric and magnetic field
    oscillations analogous to mechanical oscillations such as water waves or sound. They
    differ from each other only in the frequency of oscillation. Although given different
    names, electromagnetic radiation actually forms a continuous spectrum, from low frequency
    radio waves at a few cycles per second to gamma rays at 1018 Hz and
    above (see Figure 1.1). The parameters used to describe an electromagnetic wave—
    frequency, wavelength, and energy—are related and maybe used interchangeably.

    From: The Origin of Gamma Rays – by Douglas Reilly

    Click to access 00326396.pdf

  6. oldbrew says:

    This may be a bit over the top but worth a look…

    Solar corona mystery SOLVED: Millions of superhot ‘nanoflare explosions’ occur on the sun every second

    Scientists in Indiana have revealed a new theory for solar corona mystery
    Millions of mini explosions called nanoflares take place every second
    Each explosion has power relative to a ’50-megaton hydrogen bomb’
    It reveals why the sun’s atmosphere is 200 times hotter than its surface
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    Eclipse Over America | The Coronal Heating Problem

    Learn about the discovery of the high temperature of the Sun’s corona and how nanoflares may be the explanation in this video from NOVA: Eclipse Over America.
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    Wikipedia: A nanoflare is a very small episodic heating event which happens in the corona, the external atmosphere of the Sun.

    The hypothesis of “microflares” as a possible explanation of the coronal heating was first suggested by Thomas Gold and then later developed by Eugene Parker.
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    The discussion section: