May 20, 2022

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Discovery of mysterious circular waves in the sun

Discovery of mysterious circular waves in the sun

Researchers at the New York University Center for Space Science in Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) have discovered a new wave in the sun that, unexpectedly, travels much faster than the theory predicted.

In the study, High frequency spiral waves were detected in the sunPublished in the magazine Natural astronomyThe researchers – led by research associate Chris S. Hanson – described how they analyzed 25 years of space and terrain data to detect these waves. High frequency reflex waves (HFR) – moving in the opposite direction of the Sun’s rotation – appear in the form of spirals (spiral motions) on the surface of the Sun and move at three times the speed determined by the current theory.

The interiors of the sun and stars cannot be imaged by conventional astronomy (optical rays, X-rays, etc.), and scientists rely on interpreting the surface signatures of various waves to capture the interior. These new HFRs may be an important part of our understanding of the stars.

Complex interactions between other known waves and magnetic, gravitational or convective waves can cause HFR waves to move very quickly. “If any of these three processes were to be caused by HFRs, its results would have answered some of the more obvious questions we still have about the sun,” Hanson said. “However, these new waves do not appear to be the result of these processes, which is exciting because it leads to a whole new set of questions.”

The research was conducted in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) at the NYU Abu Dhabi Space Science Center.[{” attribute=””>New York University, using NYUAD and TIFR’s computational resources. By studying the Sun’s interior dynamics — through the use of waves — scientists can better appreciate the Sun’s potential impact on the Earth and other planets in our solar system.

“The very existence of HFR modes and their origin is a true mystery and may allude to exciting physics at play,” said Shravan Hanasoge, a co-author of the paper. “It has the potential to shed insight on the otherwise unobservable interior of the Sun.”

Reference: “Discovery of high-frequency-retrograde vorticity waves in the Sun” 24 March 2022, Nature Astronomy.
DOI: 10.1038/s41550-022-01632-z

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