Astrophotographer Captures 60,000-Mile-Tall 'Wall Of Plasma' On The Sun

Astrophotographer Captures 60,000-Mile-Tall 'Wall Of Plasma' On The Sun

News Analysis   /   Astrophotographer Captures 60,000-Mile-Tall 'Wall Of Plasma' On The Sun

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Published on: April 18, 2023

Source : NDTV


Recently, an Argentina-based astronomer captured a structure that looked like a wall of plasma on the surface of the sun.

Polar Crown Prominences (PCP)

  • PCP are plasma loops ejected from the sun’s surface by magnetic fields, similar to normal solar prominences.
  • They occur at latitudes between 60 and 70 degrees North and South, near the sun’s magnetic poles.
  • PCP collapse back towards the sun due to the stronger magnetic fields near the poles.
  • They are also called “plasma waterfalls” due to their collapsing behavior.

Solar Prominences:

  1. Solar prominences are large, loop-like structures visible on the edge of the solar disk against the dark background of space.
  2. They are anchored to the Sun’s surface in the photosphere and extend into the corona.
  3. They are cooler and denser than the surrounding plasma in the Sun’s corona and are shaped by the Sun’s magnetic field.
  4. Prominences can extend for thousands of kilometers and can last for several days or up to several months.
  5. Some prominences erupt and give rise to coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

Solar Filaments:

Sometimes, prominences are observed against the bright background of the Sun instead of at the edge of the Sun’s disk.

These prominences appear dark compared to the bright background of the Sun and are called solar filaments.

How are PCPs Formed?

  • PCPs are formed by the interaction of magnetic fields on the sun’s surface.
  • Magnetic fields are created by the movement of charged particles (plasma) in the sun’s interior.
  • When these magnetic fields interact, they can create regions of intense magnetic activity, such as sunspots.
  • PCPs are often associated with these regions of magnetic activity.

Why are PCPs Important?

PCPs are important because they provide clues about the sun’s magnetic activity and how it affects the Earth’s environment.

Solar activity, including PCPs, can cause disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field, which can lead to auroras and disruptions in communication systems.

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