Sun sound-waves help forecast sunspots and solar flares - Study
Sunspots or maculae are those cooler, darker spots occurring sporadically on the sun's photosphere. Sunspots are associated with a strong magnetic activity and have on and off effect on terrestrials. But, now by listening to the sound which sun produces, predicting sunspots could be done by the humans.
The study, issued in Friday's edition of the journal Science, specifically mentions the benefits of the findings which could help solar scientists forecast solar flares as well as other space weather events which could have harmful effects on astronauts.
The study also undertakes to assess the damage which space weather events could bear on our electronics and power grids.
The sunspots research
As the electrons get sifted from atoms’ nuclei, due to overheating in the sun’s plasma, the constant process produces sound waves. The research conducted at Stanford University chased sound-yielded action on the sun's surface and that too at different points.
The research revealed that sound waves that would usually take 60 mins to cover one point to another moved 12-16 seconds quicker during the emergence of a sunspot, contradictory of nil to 1 second of earlier assumption.
Adding that more data would be needed to further the research, Stathis Ilonidis, a graduate student studying solar physics at Stanford University said that "It's very exciting that we can detect them before they become visible,"
Study will help gauging space weather activity
The research results would help scientists in linking sunspots with the space weather activity, as high magnetic activity could definitely be tied up with harmful solar actions.
Gauging the magnetic activity would ultimately help forecasting sun flares, coronal mass expulsion, and solar storms. It would give enough time to earthlings averting them beforehand.
Philip Scherrer, a solar physicist at Stanford said, "If an airline knew ahead of time, they could choose lower flights instead of having to dodge out of way… There are a lot of things that can be done to mitigate the effects,"