ESA’s Solar Orbiter Records Mysterious Magnetic Shift

The European Space Agency’s orbiting Solar Spacecraft captured the reflection of the Sun’s magnetic field on a camera for the first time.

These reversals, known as magnetic rebounds, have been previously hypothesized, but so far have not been directly observed.

The new note provides a complete view of the structure and assures that the magnetic switches have an S-shaped character.

The European Space Agency hopes the footage will help unravel the mystery of how its physical formation mechanism might help accelerate the solar wind.

The European Space Agency’s orbiting Solar Spacecraft captured the reflection of the Sun’s magnetic field on a camera for the first time. These reversals, known as magnetic bounces, have been previously hypothesized, but so far have not been directly observed.

What is magnetic switch?

Magnetic rebound is a sudden and large deflection of the magnetic field of the solar wind.

In the study, the researchers demonstrated that switching processes occur when there is an interaction between the region of the open field lines and the region of the closed field lines.

When field lines meet, they reconnect in more stable configurations.

And like cracking a whip, this releases energy, releasing an S-shaped turbulence.

A number of spacecraft — including NASA’s Parker Solar Probe — have flown through magnetic switching rings before, but have not been able to record the puzzling areas.

However, on March 25, 2022, the Solar Orbiter was only a day away from a pass close to the Sun when its Metis instrument recorded an unusual image of the solar corona.

The image showed a distorted S-shaped distortion in the coronal plasma, which looked suspiciously like a solar reflection.

The Metis image was captured in visible light, so the researchers decided to compare it to an image taken by the Solar Orbiter’s Extreme Ultraviolet imager.

This comparison confirmed the candidate switch over an active region indexed as AR 12972.

Additional analysis of Metis data showed that the velocity of the plasma over this region was very slow – as would be expected from an active region that had not yet released its stored energy.

Daniel Teloni, who led the study, immediately thought that this was similar to the switching mechanism proposed by Professor Gary Zank, of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Near the Sun, there are open and closed magnetic field lines.

The closed lines are magnetic rings that curve in the solar atmosphere, before bending and disappearing again into the sun.

Very little plasma can escape into space above these field lines, so the speed of the solar wind tends to be slow here.

On March 25, 2022, the Solar Orbiter was only a day away from a close pass of the Sun, when its Metis instrument recorded an unusual image of the solar corona.

On March 25, 2022, the Solar Orbiter was only a day away from a close pass of the Sun, when its Metis instrument recorded an unusual image of the solar corona.

In the study, the researchers demonstrated that switching processes occur when there is an interaction between the region of the open field lines and the region of the closed field lines.  When field lines meet, they reconnect in more stable configurations.  And like cracking a whip, this releases energy, releasing an S-shaped turbulence.

In the study, the researchers demonstrated that switching processes occur when there is an interaction between the region of the open field lines and the region of the closed field lines. When field lines meet, they reconnect in more stable configurations. And like cracking a whip, this releases energy, releasing an S-shaped turbulence.

In turn, open field lines emanate from the Sun and connect to the solar system’s interplanetary magnetic field.

Here, plasma can flow freely, resulting in fast solar winds.

In the study, the researchers demonstrated that switching processes occur when there is an interaction between the region of the open field lines and the region of the closed field lines.

When field lines meet, they reconnect in more stable configurations.

Much like a cracked whip, this releases energy, releasing an S-shaped turbulence.

Professor Zank said: “`The first picture of Metis shown by Daniel almost immediately suggested to me the cartoon we drew in developing the Mathematical Model for Switch.

Of course, the first image was just a snapshot, and we had to temper our excitement until we used Metis’ excellent coverage to extract temporal information and perform a more detailed spectral analysis of the images themselves. The results proved to be absolutely amazing! “

The researchers hope the findings will help unravel the mystery of how the solar wind accelerates and heats it further from the sun.

“The next step is to try to statistically correlate the transpositions observed at the site with regions of their source on the Sun,” said Ms. Tiloni.

The footage was recorded during the first very close pass of the Sun’s orbital solar system, and the European Space Agency hopes that with more orbits, more data can be obtained.

Daniel Muller, ESA project scientist for Solar Orbiter added: “With each orbit, we get more data from our group of ten instruments.

Based on results like these, we will adjust planned observations for the next Solar Orbiter encounter to understand the way the Sun relates to the solar system’s broader magnetic environment.

“This was the first very close pass of the Solar Orbiter to the Sun, so we expect more exciting results in the future.”

European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter: British spacecraft will be the first to take pictures of the sun’s polar regions

Solar Orbiter is a mission of the European Space Agency with the support of NASA to explore the Sun and the impact of our host star on the Solar System – including Earth.

Solar Orbit (artist's impression) An ESA mission to explore the Sun and its impact on the Solar System.  Planned to launch in 2020 from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA

Solar Orbit (artist’s impression) An ESA mission to explore the Sun and its impact on the Solar System. Planned to launch in 2020 from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA

The satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida in February 2020 and reached its first close approach to the sun in June 2020.

It was built in Stevenage, England and is equipped with a carefully selected set of 10 telescopes and direct sensors.

The Solar Orbiter will fly 26 million miles (43 million km) from the surface of the Sun to inspect our star’s poles more closely.

Scientists are investigating how the sun’s violent outer atmosphere, also known as the corona, formed.

Built in Stevenage, England, it is equipped with a carefully selected set of 10 telescopes and live sensors

Built in Stevenage, England, it is equipped with a carefully selected set of 10 telescopes and live sensors

This is the region from which “solar winds” – storms of charged particles that can disrupt electronics on Earth – into space.

With the Solar Orbiter, researchers hope to reveal the causes of solar storms to help better predict them in the future.

The solar orbiter’s heat shields are expected to reach temperatures of 600 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit) during its closest flights.

It will work closely with NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which launched in August 2018, and also study the sun’s corona.