Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Sun is in its 25th cycle of activity. What is it?

This image we see is of the Sun!  It is a combination of several records made at a time of high solar activity.  Come learn more!

 A basic law of physics is that electrical charges in motion generate a magnetic field.  The Sun is an immense mass (almost 333,000 times the mass of the Earth) of electrically charged hot gas.  And he moves!  So associated with this movement is a magnetic field.  And scientists long ago discovered that the Sun's magnetic field has a cycle we call the solar cycle.  The solar cycle has a periodicity of approximately 11 years.

 How do we know about this?  It is that from here on Earth we observe the solar activity on the surface of the Sun. Always using suitable equipment, we observe the sunspots that appear on the surface of the Sun. The appearance of these spots is related to solar activity.

 There are also true explosions on the Sun's surface that release radiation and even particles from the Sun into space!  These are called flares.

 All this solar activity is monitored by scientists because it affects us directly!

 The image we bring today is a combination of image made with different equipment, each capturing different colors, that is, each equipment recorded different wavelengths.

 The different images were taken at a time when the Sun was in high activity and near the peak of the 24th cycle (the past solar cycle).

 All captures were made on April 29, 2015. The record made by the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, oNuSTAR (USA) appears in blue.  Low-energy X-rays were recorded by the Japanese spacecraft Hinode and appear in green.  Extreme ultraviolet light was captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (USA) and appears in yellow and red colors.



 Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/JAXA

 Text: Josina Nascimento (National Observatory/MCTI astronomer)

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