USING images from NASAs Solar Dynamics Observatory, a team of scientists including those from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bengaluru has observed a magnetic explosion the likes of which has never been seen before.
The observation, which confirms a decade-old theory, may help scientists understand a key mystery about the Sun’s atmosphere, better predict space weather, and may also lead to breakthroughs in the controlled fusion and lab plasma experiments, according to the study published in the ‘Astrophysical Journal’.
“This was the first observation of an external driver of magnetic reconnection,” said Abhishek Srivastava, solar scientist at the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU). “This could be very useful for understanding other systems. For example, Earth’s and planetary magnetospheres, other magnetised plasma sources, including experiments at laboratory scales where plasma is highly diffusive and very hard to control,” Srivastava added.