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NASA To Explore "Secret Layer" of the Sun

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the don't-forget-your-metaphasic-shields dept.

Space 75

SpaceAdmiral brings news that NASA will be launching a telescope next April, called Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph Investigation (SUMI), which will examine what is called the "transition region" between the Sun's corona and the chromosphere. Scientists have studied characteristics of the Sun around this region before, but never within it. NASA notes: "It is a place in the sun's atmosphere, about 5000 km above the stellar surface, where magnetic fields overwhelm the pressure of matter and seize control of the sun's gases. It's where solar flares explode, where coronal mass ejections begin their journey to Earth, where the solar wind is mysteriously accelerated to a million mph. It is, in short, the birthplace of space weather."

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75 comments

Sounds hot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895731)

I hope they put some lotion with a huge SPF on it.

Re:Sounds hot (1, Informative)

rgo (986711) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895745)

It is a telescope, they're not launching something to the sun.

Reminds me of an interesting site (4, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896925)

The Surface of the Sun [thesurfaceofthesun.com]. Viewed using a 171 angstrom filter, the sun appears to actually have a solid surface beneath the gas layers. It also seems to be electrically active. This is one of the more fascinating astronomy sites I've seen, mainly because they don't seem to start with a bias of "what we know can't be so". That always appeals to me, especially since "what we know is 100% impossible" is something that's been proven wrong, again and again, although that doesn't seem to stop anyone from asserting that this time we really have it right.

Re:Reminds me of an interesting site (3, Informative)

jessica_alba (1234100) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897577)

very interesting site, and layman friendly; it contains a link to a peer reviewed paper that is a good read and very understandable:
http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0511/0511379.pdf [arxiv.org]
The papers states:
a) The Sun and other stars act as plasma diffusers, sorting lighter atoms to their surfaces.

b) The interior of the Sun is made of common elements in rocky planets and meteorites â" Fe, Ni, O, Si, and S â" although the lightest elements (H and He) cover its surface.

c) Neutron-emission from the solar core, a neutron star, is the first step in a series of reactions that has steadily generated luminosity, neutrinos, solar mass fractionation, and an out-pouring of solar-wind hydrogen from the Sun over the past 4-5 Gy.

Re:Reminds me of an interesting site (2, Informative)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897591)

Warning, Electric Universe theory mentioned and referenced, as well as Plasma and Thunderbolt themes.

Pretty pictures though.

Re:Reminds me of an interesting site (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24897681)

electric currents on the sun are a given (its a big ball of plasma), whether or not the sun gets its power from inter-galactic Birkland currents (which this site makes no such claim) has yet to be proven or dis-proven.

Re:Reminds me of an interesting site (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897743)

I wish I could mod you up. The anti-knee-jerk is another thing I always appreciate.

Re:Reminds me of an interesting site (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24897815)

This is one of the more fascinating astronomy sites I've seen, mainly because they don't seem to start with a bias of "what we know can't be so".

They don't just not start there, they don't go there at all. This, of course, is what enables it to be so fascinating:

In the space of one hundred and seventy six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over a mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old OÃlitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-pole. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo [Illinois] and New Orleans will have joined their streets together and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

Seriously, they're saying that a select few pieces of publicaly available data prove clearly and obviously that everyone else is completely wrong, while their own "clear and obvious" explanations are completely nonsensical (for example, neon being used as a cryogenic refrigerant has nothing to do with how a solid crust on the sun can supposedly form under it).

Re:Sounds hot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895937)

Maybe they should just invent metaphasic shielding?

(And for the guy who thought SPF was a trollish reference, behold [wikipedia.org])

Obligatory Weak Joke (2, Funny)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895753)

I was going to say they should go at night.

Re:Obligatory Weak Joke (5, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895887)

I was going to say they should respect the sun's privacy. We shouldn't be investigating parts of the sun where the sun don't shine.

Re:Obligatory Weak Joke (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24896415)

Ahh my eyes!! You totally lied, there are no parts of the sun that don't shine!

Re:Obligatory Weak Joke (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#24898609)

Ahh my eyes!! You totally lied, there are no parts of the sun that don't shine!

Achtung: Do not look into sun with remaining eye.

If you had to choose... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895759)

If you had to choose between being a faggot for a day or being a nigger for a day, which would it be?

Secret Layer? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895791)

Sun: Welcome to my secret layer, Mr Powers, I've been expecting you.

Re:Secret Layer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24898917)

Allotta fagina is that you?!?

Solar Probe Plus (4, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895809)

It's worth a note that another upcoming NASA mission, Solar Probe Plus [space.com], will actually probe the corona, not just look at it.

See data and reports on Solar Probe Plus [nasa.gov]

Re:Solar Probe Plus (1)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895851)

Have we determined that the Sun is definitely not sentient?

If it is, it seems like an awfully bad idea to go probing the corona of a being capable of melting us in a matter of seconds.

Re:Solar Probe Plus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24896063)

Considering that the sun is over four and a half billion years old [wikipedia.org], it would be more likely to enjoy a slow and painful punishment. I.e. introducing higher volumes of radiation and watching genetic mutations propagate through every living species until we die off.

Or, maybe, it would just use its particle accelerator features to pelt us to death with gooey projectiles. [flickr.com]

Would make a good sci-fi novel.

Re:Solar Probe Plus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24896097)

UPIA?

It might like it though.

Re:Solar Probe Plus (5, Funny)

fyoder (857358) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896163)

Have we determined that the Sun is definitely not sentient?

Spock: She has sentience, Jim, but not as we know it. I would recommend you not have sex with this one.

Kirk: But Spock, she's so hot!

Spock: Yes, Jim. Too hot.

Kirk: I've yet to meet...

Spock: Don't make me nerve pinch you, Captain.

Mmm... secret ice cream layer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895879)

How did they do that? The Sun is hot... but they put ice cream in it! WOW!

Why bother with the Sun... (-1, Offtopic)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895907)

They should explore the ninth level of Hell to see if Saddam is there with his WMDs or a dildo.

Next big Hollywood blockbuster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895915)

Sounds like a Michael Bay film. "Bruce Willis heads a nighttime mission to the Sun to drill for oil." Come on do you really think anyone in Hollywood was awake during science class?

well, (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895957)

The cat's out the bag now, boys ... no longer a secret

aw, what the hell - am drunk anyway, taking me longer than 20 minutes to type this out :-)

Re:well, (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 5 years ago | (#24898181)

actually, to get to the secret layer you have to fly through three solar flares then press up up down down left right left right a b a b select start then hit reset button on the console EXACTLY as you press start on controller two.

Traveling to the Secret Sun Layer. (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896107)

To access the Secret Sun Layer, you must first kill Baal. After you have killed Baal (making sure the quest has been completed), you can access the Secret Sun Layer.

Re:Traveling to the Secret Sun Layer. (4, Funny)

nelk (923574) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896411)

To access the Secret Sun Layer, you must first kill Baal. After you have killed Baal (making sure the quest has been completed), you can access the Secret Sun Layer.

Or, for those of us who don't like waiting, up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A will get you there faster.

Re:Traveling to the Secret Sun Layer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24900491)

I would have thought the Secret Sun Layer was the forgotten hallway full of SPARQs back at univ.

Re:Traveling to the Secret Sun Layer. (1)

jagdish (981925) | more than 5 years ago | (#24898821)

But since it is pitch black, You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Probe Me, Please (4, Funny)

Kesch (943326) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896167)

"It is a place in the sun's atmosphere, about 5000 km above the stellar surface, where magnetic fields overwhelm the pressure of matter and seize control of the sun's gases. It's where solar flares explode, where coronal mass ejections begin their journey to Earth, where the solar wind is mysteriously accelerated to a million mph. It is, in short, the birthplace of space weather."

Did anyone else get aroused reading the summary?

I don't know about the rest of you, but the sun gets me pretty hot.

Re:Probe Me, Please (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24896253)

"It is a place in the sun's atmosphere, about 5000 km above the stellar surface, where magnetic fields overwhelm the pressure of matter and seize control of the sun's gases. It's where solar flares explode, where coronal mass ejections begin their journey to Earth, where the solar wind is mysteriously accelerated to a million mph. It is, in short, the birthplace of space weather."

Did anyone else get aroused reading the summary?

I don't know about the rest of you, but the sun gets me pretty hot.

Did you have a coronal mass ejection?

Re:Probe Me, Please (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#24898833)

Did anyone else get aroused reading the summary?

I don't know about the rest of you, but the sun gets me pretty hot.

Well, she's still single, so go for it...

Same old story... (0)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896965)

It seems like every time the brains at NASA send out a new multi-gazillion dollar probe to investigate something, they always say that "this research will give us clues as to the origin of life"

Personally, I think it's code-speak for "we just think this is fscking cool, but we need to justify spending gazillion bucks"

Re:Same old story... (1)

barakn (641218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24902737)

They didn't say that this time, so why did you mention it? And it's not a very expensive probe either.

HOLD ON THERE! (1)

Frosty-B-Bad (259317) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897025)

How did Slashdot find out about the "secret" layer of the sun I JUST Blogged it on my "A-Space" page 10 minutes ago! it's SEECUREE!

Seize control on the sun's gases (1)

fractalVisionz (989785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897225)

magnetic fields overwhelm the pressure of matter and seize control of the sun's gases. It's where solar flares explode, where coronal mass ejections begin

Sounds like someone needs some beano.

Send Jim... (1)

DougF (1117261) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897313)

I vote we send Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel instead, he seems to be where all the weather action is these days....

Mysterious, unless... (1)

Orne (144925) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897687)

It would be interesting to see if this supports the electric universe theory, that the sun is not powered by gravity fusion, but is instead a giant Plasma Lamp [thunderbolts.info]. The purpose of the probe is to measure magnetic field lines of the sun from earth's low orbit, and perhaps it can travel far enough in its 8 minutes to detect the radial field lines that the EU theories say must exist...

Re:Mysterious, unless... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#24898147)

The EU book is a collection of half-truths that makes non-sensical claims such as "impact craters are caused by bolts of electricity". If there is ever another book burning fad it should be used to light the bonfire.

Re:Mysterious, unless... (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 5 years ago | (#24898177)

...The purpose of the probe is to measure magnetic field lines of the sun...

Does anybody know how to generate a magnetic field without the movement of charge? It has been an experiment clearly established and we use this effect every day, that electric currents produce magnetic fields. That is how all electric motors work. Since we can measure magnetic fields on the Sun, these must be due to immense electrical currents. The question then is: Where or what is the power supply that produces these currents? The only fact we know for sure, is that the sun does shine and that we are all glad of that. The giant camp fire idea of yesteryear, the currently in vogue thermonuclear fusion and the plasma lamp theory are all attempts to explain why in the sun does shine.

It is amazing that these theories put forth by Dr. Birkland about 100 years ago are finding supporting evidence by the latest, most sophisticated instruments with which to study our sun. One thing is for sure, these new data indicate that ignoring the electrical force in the operation of the large-scale universe needs to come to an end.

The cosmologists who admit only gravity as the controlling force operative in the large-scale universe, find it necessary to come up with all sorts of exotic constructs, such as black holes, dark matter and dark energy. If the 36 orders of magnitude greater electric interaction is ALSO taken into account, in addition to the force of gravity, then these exotic, weird figments of the astronomers imagination become unnecessary to explain the latest observation coming in from advanced, sophisticated space probes.

Re:Mysterious, unless... (1)

Entropy2016 (751922) | more than 5 years ago | (#24900165)

The cosmologists who admit only gravity as the controlling force operative in the large-scale universe, find it necessary to come up with all sorts of exotic constructs, such as black holes, dark matter and dark energy. If the 36 orders of magnitude greater electric interaction is ALSO taken into account, in addition to the force of gravity, then these exotic, weird figments of the astronomers imagination become unnecessary to explain the latest observation coming in from advanced, sophisticated space probes.

What are you talking about?

Black Holes were not some exotic construct necessary cooked up to make sense of observations. They were predicted by theorists on paper, and only after we calculated they must exist did anyone actually try looking for them. Which we did.

Re:Mysterious, unless... (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 5 years ago | (#24902339)

....did anyone actually try looking for them....

And so far they have never directly found any so called black hole either. They have found what some _interpret_ as indications of the existence of a black hole, but never a black hole itself. What is interpreted to be a powerful gravitational field, can also be interpreted to be a powerful electric or magnetic field. What we observe is what appears to be an exceedingly powerful force associated with what has been called an immensely massive object, such as a black hole. It is _believed_ that this force is gravity, attributed to a huge mass, but it could also be due to the electro-magnetic force. We know that the electric force is 36 orders of magnitude greater than gravity.

If someone were to put two 200 ton locomotives on side-by-side tracks, outside of the Earth's gravitational field, they would attract each other with a force of about 18 g. In comparison, the force needed to tear the steel of the locomotive represents the electric force.

When black holes were first theorized, we considered them to be a cosmic sewer from which nothing, not even light can escape. Then observations were made of objects which were _believed_ to be black holes, which indicated that matter is ejected from these objects in intense "jets". This necessitated an extensive reworking of the gravitational theory involving black holes. If the electric force is active in these mysterious objects, then no theories concerning electricity and magnetism need to be rethought, in order to come up with a reasonable explanation of their behavior.

Re:Mysterious, unless... (1)

Entropy2016 (751922) | more than 5 years ago | (#24906953)

By a black hole's inherent properties you can't directly observe it and to expect such direct observations is foolish. Electric forces aren't going to cause the space-time curvature that would hide the black hole to begin with. If black holes were wells of primarily electric force, why would they trap light making them so well, "black"?

We know that the electric force is 36 orders of magnitude greater than gravity.

Too bad the range of that electric force is too short for any of this pseudoscience to make any sense. Gravity, on the other hand actually has non-negligible range over astronomical distances.

When black holes were first theorized, we considered them to be a cosmic sewer from which nothing, not even light can escape. Then observations were made of objects which were _believed_ to be black holes, which indicated that matter is ejected from these objects in intense "jets". This necessitated an extensive reworking of the gravitational theory involving black holes.

When you mentioned "matter is ejected", you're thinking of quasars, which are a type of black hole, but not all black holes are quasars.
By the way, no reworking ever done says anything leaves a black hole (quasar or otherwise). Emissions are from stuff falling toward it, which is why quasars emissions cease when they don't have matter to feed on. The rule of event-horizons being a point-of-no-return for light has not been "reworked".

By the way, if you don't believe black holes should exist, what do you think is supposed to happen when a star's mass exceeds the Chandrasekhar Limit eh? How does your EU junk explain gravitational lensing which is successfully observed? The General Theory of Relativity has a proven record of successful experimental predictions, and this electric universe junk doesn't. Explain all that.

Re:Mysterious, unless... (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 5 years ago | (#24907931)

....Too bad the range of that electric force is too short....

Both diminish the same way, but unlike gravity, electricity can also repel. All this black hole idea is a mathematical fiction which has NO physical reality. The immense energies involved with so called black holes can easily be interpreted to be the result of intense electromagnetic interactions. We have observed intense magnetic fields traversing cosmic distances in space. The sun and planets have magnetic fields. The sun produces a measured electric current named the solar wind. We know of NO way to produce a magnetic field without the electric current. These two ALWAYS, without exception. appear together.

(..If black holes were wells of primarily electric force, why would they trap light making them so well, "black"..)

That's exactly my problem, if black holes existed, we should be able to see a black, lightless area around them. Because the electric force is so much more intense than gravity, every single effect that has been imputed to gravity alone can be easily explained equally well and most of the time better than gravity operating alone. It takes BOTH forces working together to explain the operation of the large scale universe.

When an electric field gets intense enough, it also affects light, which is after all an electromagnetic wave which travels throughout the immense distance of space just fine. Electrons, protons and other charged particles as well as photons are particles that can and certainly do travel vast distances. You are mistaken about the short range of the electric interaction.

I worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator where lasers and electrons as well as positrons routinely interacted. The incredibly intense electric fields of both the accelerating microwaves and the electrons themselves affected the laser beams more than even the most intense gravitational field could. So, a highly charged star, such as our sun could certainly affect electromagnetic waves such as light far more than the weak gravity of the sun. This can easily explain the so called "gravitational" lensing also.

(..The rule of event-horizons being a point-of-no-return for light has not been "reworked"..)

The so called "event horizon" has to be reworked, if, as is now theorized, black holes can "evaporate".

(..By the way, if you don't believe black holes should exist, what do you think is supposed to happen when a star's mass exceeds ..)

The mass of a star is only a secondary effect. When any star, regardless of mass gets under sufficient electrical stress, it may explode. We call this a nova or even if it's a really big explosion a supernova.

If you have ever witnessed what happens when the electric current to a large inductance is suddenly interrupted, you get a microscopic demonstration of what happens on a cosmic scale when an over-stressed star suddenly interrupts a galactic scale electric current. All the magnetic energy stored in the cosmic inductance is suddenly released in a concentrated space and in a short time at the point of interruption. This energy is sufficient to vaporize most of or in some cases all of a star in a cataclysmic display of electric fireworks. The amount of energy released is only loosely dependent on the size and age of a particular star.

Re:Mysterious, unless... (1)

Entropy2016 (751922) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908299)

Both diminish the same way[...]

No, they don't diminish the same way in non-ideal settings, like the real universe. "gravity is important at long distances is because all masses are positive and therefore gravity's interaction cannot be screened like in electromagnetism." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_interaction [wikipedia.org] )

if black holes existed, we should be able to see a black, lightless area around them.

We have observed massive sources of gravity (affecting visible neighboring bodies) which are not emitting light, which appears to confirm the presence of the event horizon shielding a large object with a ton of gravity from direct observation.

When an electric field gets intense enough, it also affects light, which is after all an electromagnetic wave which travels throughout the immense distance of space just fine.

Light can't be attractive & repulsive which is why it has range. Like how gravity can't be attractive & repulsive. It doesn't get cancelled out over long ranges. Electromagnetic forces can be attractive or repulsive, and over long distances are balanced out by multiple sources of electromagnetic force. This is analogous to why my hands doesn't have noticeable magnetic interactions with each other, the charged particles in each are balancing each other out.

The so called "event horizon" has to be reworked, if, as is now theorized, black holes can "evaporate".

Please don't tell me you're taking a word out of context to mislead people with it. Black holes don't evaporate in the sense that they lose mass by emitting particles (in a classical sense). They lose mass due to particle/anti-particles pairs generated spontaneously by quantum-fluctuations in otherwise empty space, are torn apart from eachother near the event horizon, (more anti-particles fall inward than normal-particles). Being 'eroded' by antimatter is not the same thing as actually shooting off bits of mass.

This can easily explain the so called "gravitational" lensing also.

Except for the fact there are visible things in space (with estimable masses) that we observe cause this lensing. And it appears that gravity alone explains it just fine.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_lensing [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_Gravitational_Lensing_Experiment [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SDSSJ0946%2B1006 [wikipedia.org]

The mass of a star is only a secondary effect.

Effect? huh? I'm not even sure that makes sense.

When any star, regardless of mass gets under sufficient electrical stress, it may explode. We call this a nova or even if it's a really big explosion a supernova.

You're claiming that stars can't lose internal pressure and undergo gravitational collapse? They just always get electrically unstable and blow up? And that it actually has absolutely nothing to do with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron-degenerate_matter [wikipedia.org] ?

There are plenty of people who debunked this crap. Here's a starting point:
http://www.tim-thompson.com/electric-sun.html [tim-thompson.com]
http://www.bautforum.com/against-mainstream/28596-electric-universe-model.html [bautforum.com]

Re:Mysterious, unless... (1)

daver00 (1336845) | more than 5 years ago | (#24906379)

36 orders of magnitude greater in what sense? On the quantum level, yes, but there is a relativity to that. I don't count on an extremely potent, but small rare earth magnet from a hard drive being able to hold up an automobile against the power of the earths gravity. 36 orders of magnitude greater doesn't mean much in this sense. Of course a much larger electromagnet can do this easily. You may be thinking: 'yes, exactly' But what I am saying is that the premise of '36 orders of magnitude greater than gravity' is a form of denying the antecedent. Just because electromagnetism is the dominant force on the quantum scale does not imply that electromagnetism is the dominant force on the cosmic scale, in fact I think observation suggests otherwise, this is the whole point of general relativity, which I might add began from the assumptions of electromagnetism being valid.

I'm not refuting what you have said, I honestly don't know much about astrology and find it all a bit weak given that we make only the mildest of observations from our little well in the first place. What I did notice is that you speak as though you are implying a force on the quantum scale that is 36 orders of magnitude greater than another force scales up to mean there should be 36 orders of magnitude greater effects, or at least much more. I think that is naive.

Re:Mysterious, unless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24898225)

Aw, c'mon... the SUMMARY shows the electric nature of the sun:

"It is a place in the sun's atmosphere, about 5000 km above the stellar surface, where magnetic fields overwhelm the pressure of matter and seize control of the sun's gases. It's where solar flares explode, where coronal mass ejections begin their journey to Earth, where the solar wind is mysteriously accelerated to a million mph. It is, in short, the birthplace of space weather."

5000 km or so above the stellar surface is the region of the plasma double layer, where extremely powerful electric currents in plasma are separated by a "dead" region. Either side has powerful electrical energy flowing at all times. These electric fields of course have their associated magnetic fields, which "overwhelm the pressure of matter and seize control of the sun's gases." Altho the argument goes, that it's raw electrical pressure in this exact region that is the location and source of the fusion detected coming from the sun.

The double layer occasionally develops instabilities, causing the the electric current (with its associated magnetic field) to punch through the DL and blast the surface, causing coronal mass ejections.

The sun functions as the electrical anode (or, the positive source) in an circuit encompassing the solar system. I would really like to see some definition of a plasma of moving positive charges that is NOT electrical. But again, right on the outer side of the double layer, the charges (protons. Hydrogen ions.) join the electrical current radiating from the sun.

Hence, "the solar wind is mysteriously accelerated to a million mph."

And that's without even seeing the results yet! Here's hoping NASA will finally be able to see past its electrical blind spots when some (MORE) good solid scientific evidence comes in proving it.

Uh, whatever they do, (1)

LM741N (258038) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897793)

I hope ithe mission is not at the peak of the Sunspot cycle, as their space vehicle will be turned into individual atoms floating in space.

Obligatory public policy statement (1)

vandelais (164490) | more than 5 years ago | (#24899917)

Areas like this are where NASA should be spending more of their resources to bridge the gap between the time when more grand expeditions (Moonbase, Mars) will become more economically feasible. I'm not saying we shouldn't go, but a trillion here and a trillion there tends to add up fast.

That trillion dollar Mars mission GWB suggested a few years ago disappeared down the toilet faster than a lead burrito.

We can receive much pure and applied science from projects such as this per dollar spent than we could from manned spaceflight. We can't say "Well done, NASA." since it's not until next April, but it's out there waiting for you when you do.

Sorry, dead comparison (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908191)

disappeared down the toilet faster than a lead burrito

I don't have much personal experience with lead burritos (none, actually), but I think it won't make it round the bend. So it will just sit there at the bottom, never quite going away.

And THERE you are 100% correct - it's a project that will never quite die. There will always be someone who'll resurrect it for a few weeks, like a zombie, with many (returning to your analogy) flushing for all it's worth.

I hope (1)

barakn (641218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24903299)

... that there are actually active areas for them to see next April during their 8 minutes of telescope activity. This solar minimum has been very quiet and long-lasting.
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  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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