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Mysteries of the Sun

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#81
An interesting fact about the sun is that it doesn't have enough mass to support fusion just from gravitational compression at the core. The only reason the sun works is because of quantum tunneling. Since particles behave like waves and their position is determined by probability, they sometimes can appear on the other side of an energy barrier that otherwise they wouldn't be able to penetrate. In essence, the particle disappears from one location an appears at another without traversing the distance in between, even if it happens to be inside the nucleus of an atom.

From Wikipedia:
Quantum tunnelling or tunneling (see spelling differences) refers to the quantum mechanical phenomenon where a particle tunnels through a barrier that it classically could not surmount. This plays an essential role in several physical phenomena, such as the nuclear fusion that occurs in main sequence stars like the Sun.
 
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#82
i think a lot of education would be better if it was that quick and to the point.
 
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#86
I have no words to describe this awesomeness ...








Watch the giant spot rotate into view and grow right before your eyes in this 72-hour time-lapse video taken by SOHO’s HMI imager Oct. 18-20, 2014


 
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#90
Now some physics:
http://irischallenge.arc.nasa.gov/iris_weeklyquestions.html
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/multimedia/solar-rotation_prt.htm


Solar differential rotation:​




The Sun rotates on its axis just as Earth does. Since the Sun is a ball of plasma, it does not have to rotate rigidly like the solid planets and moons do. In fact, the Sun's equatorial regions rotate faster (~24 days) than the polar regions (>30 days).

Here's the formula that represents the sidereal rotation velocity in deg/day
ω (b) = 14.499 (±0.006) – 2.54 (±0.06)*sin^2(b) – 0.77 (±0.09)*sin^4(b)
As you can see it's easy to calculate it for the equator (when b=0). Then ω (b) = 14.499 (±0.006).

Roughly 14.5 degrees per day. And to get the time you just do this 360 / 14.5 ~ 24 days
 
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#92
A mid-level M7.9-class solar flare emerged from an active region on the sun on Nov. 5, 2014. SDO caught the event in extreme UV light colorized in red and gold.




 
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#97
Active regions AR2221 and AR2222 have unstable 'beta-gamma' magnetic fields that harbor energy for M-class flares; they could "go off" at any moment. Any eruptions from the duo will probably be Earth-directed as they continue to turn toward our planet.





 
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Not sure if this was already covered - Plasma corkscrews may help predict CMEs
For the first time, researchers have watched the sun’s magnetic field force plasma into a spring-shaped curl during a powerful solar eruption known as a coronal mass ejection, or CME. The new observations contradict previous research suggesting that the twisted plasma structures are precursors of CMEs, which can disable satellites and disrupt air travel when directed toward Earth. The new findings appear August 28 in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Understanding the interplay between the magnetic curls and CMEs could help solar scientists spot impending solar storms well in advance, says astrophysicist Angelos Vourlidas of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., who was not involved with the new study. “A reconciled theory would potentially allow us to see the early stages of a CME and issue warnings days instead of hours before it reaches Earth,” he says.
pix and video at link
 
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