Science & Nature

Solar Orbiter lays eyes on Solar Snake

The Solar Snake sighting is believed to be a precursor to a far more violent explosion

On the 5th of September this year, an unusual phenomenon was spotted by the Solar Orbiter. A solar snake slithering through the sun’s magnetic field offered a significant display for the space enthusiasts to learn about.

What the Solar Orbiter chanced upon is a tube of cooler atmospheric gases with movements akin to a snake’s, it offered much insights into the solar surface.

The solar snake moving in long curves was a tube of cool plasma suspended by magnetic fields in the hotter surrounding plasma of the Sun’s atmosphere, the orbiter found. The sighting gave much to scientists to ponder on, and it is being expected that the sighting could be a precursor to a far more violent explosion that has happened.

Solar Snake sighting provides much to learn

As per a report, the Sun’s magnetic field possesses a very long filament that runs from one side of the Sun to the other. And this what the tube of plasma follows. As the magnetic field is twisted, the plasma flowing from one side to the other shows a change in direction. The twisted structure has been explained thus.

Space scientists have created a time-lapse movie using images from the Solar Orbiter’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager. It shows that the plasma covers large distances to cross the Sun’s surface, and the time it takes for doing it runs to around three hours. Taking the distance covered, it is being explained that the plasma would be moving at about 170 km per second, the report added.

Eruption said to have ejected billions of tonnes of plasma

The Solar Snake taking form in the active solar zone and moving toward eruption is being studied. The eruption may have ejected billions of tonnes of plasma into space. This eruption could be among the most intense solar energetic particle events detected so far.

Doesn’t this sound exciting? Here’s a video of the occurrence made by the European Space Agency.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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