Scientists predict how corona will appear during April total solar eclipse

Posted by

New Delhi: The corona or the outer atmosphere of the Sun is hidden by the glare of the Sun, but is visible when the Moon moves across the face of the Sun during solar eclipses. NASA scientists are using data gathered by heliophysics observatories to predict how the solar corona will appear on 8 April, 2024, the day that a total solar eclipse will sweep across North America.

The corona consists of long, thin threads of plasma extending from the surface of the Sun, defined by the powerful magnetic field of the Sun. The strands ripple and evolve continuously because of solar activity. NASA scientists are using data gathered by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) for the predictions, as well as the computational power of the Pleiades Supercomputer. Data from the SDO is churned by the supercomputer to update the prediction in near realtime.

The model was built by Predictive Science Inc., using measurements of the dynamic magnetic field of the Sun at the solar surface. A crucial innovation in the exercise was developing an automated process that can convert the realtime observations by SDO to track how magnetic flux and energy is injected into the solar corona over time. Adding the dynamic to the model allows the corona to evolve over time, leading to solar outbursts.

The total solar eclipse will be used to validate the model making the predictions

The approach has been previously used during total solar eclipses in 2017 and 2021. However, in past predictions, a static snapshot of the surface magnetic field of the Sun was used to make the predictions. These predictions were not very accurate and the approach itself was not reliable because of just how dynamic the Sun is. The solar eclipse will be used to test the accuracy of the model, and to update it if necessary. Such models can help scientists better anticipate temper tantrums from the Sun, and predict space weather.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *