Scientists have observed the sun’s nano-flares for the first time: energy equivalent to 2,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs.

On October 6th Spain’s National newspaper published a report entitled “The first discovery of a nano flare that reveals the sun’s main secret”. The study confirms the existence of nano flares for the first time and could help explain why the temperature of the corona is thousands of times the temperature of the sun’s surface, the report said. The full text is excerpted as follows:

Scientists have observed the sun's nano-flares for the first time: energy equivalent to 2,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs.

When body physicist Patrick Antolin first observed a tiny jet-like explosion on the corona, he didn’t know what that meant. “I was shocked by the images,” Antolin said. Intuition told me they were important, but I couldn’t concentrate on them at the time. I put the picture in the filing cabinet and it was three years of gray. Antolin is the lead author of a recent study published in the British journal Nature Astronomy, which confirms the existence of nano flares for the first time and helps explain why the temperature of the corona is thousands of times the temperature of the sun’s surface.

Antolin made observations as early as 2014 when it checked the satellite catalog of the Solar Interface Imaging Spectrometer, but it was not until 2017 that it was given the opportunity to analyse it in detail. In a series of images reconstructed by Antolin, three clear stages of magnetic energy conversion into heat and warming of the corona were observed for the first time. First you can see a small portion of the cooling corona, which is about 60,000 degrees Celsius. A small explosion of energy release can then be observed. Because it resembles a high-speed aircraft, Antolin calls it the “nano-jet stream” and the physics community calls it the “nano-flare”. Finally, it can be confirmed that a small portion of the corona that is initially cooled heats up to millions of degrees Celsius.

Antolin says such incidents occur by accident and in small areas. “It takes a lot of luck to get the satellite in the right place at the right time.” Antolin said. Analysis of the images reveals that the “nano-jet stream” occurs in less than 10 seconds, at a speed of 700,000 km/h, and releases the equivalent of 2,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per micro-explosion. “We observed an ‘avalanche effect’ that first appeared in a small portion of the nano-jet stream and then spread to the entire magnetic ring and was captured by satellites,” Antolin said. We observed 150 small explosions in 10 minutes. “

Ada Ortiz Kavonelli, a researcher in solar astrophysics at the University of Oslo in Norway, said the discovery was important for uncovering the secrets of the corona. “It was suggested as early as the 1980s that nano flares were the cause of coronal warming, but they have not been observed. One side is theory, the other side is practice. “Previous X-rays have been used to see light on the corona, but it has not been available to link them to the warming of the coronal rings. “

NASA also recognized the value of the study on the same day. “The researchers informed us of the first clear images of the nano-jet stream, the subtle and bright light produced in the coronal magnetic structure,” NASA said in a statement. This process confirms the presence of nano flares and helps explain coronal warming. However, Antolin, Kavonelli and NASA researchers agree that more similar observations are needed to unlock the secrets of coronal warming. “More research is needed to determine how often nano-jet streams and nano-flares occur throughout the sun, especially how much energy they contribute to the corona’s warming,” NASA said. Kavonelli said solar physicists agree that the corona has more than one warming mechanism, but multiple mechanisms coexist. “We haven’t completely solved the corona problem yet, but we’ve taken a very important step,” Cavonelli said. (Compilation/Liao Thinking)