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Evolving Sun Cells

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the pretty-pictures dept.

NASA 20

An anonymous reader sends this quote from a NASA report: "One day in the fall of 2011, Neil Sheeley, a solar scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., did what he always does — look through the daily images of the sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). But on this day he saw something he'd never noticed before: a pattern of cells with bright centers and dark boundaries occurring in the sun's atmosphere, the corona. ... The coronal cells occur in areas between coronal holes – colder and less dense areas of the corona seen as dark regions in images -- and "filament channels" which mark the boundaries between sections of upward-pointing magnetic fields and downward-pointing ones. Understanding how these cells evolve can provide clues as to the changing magnetic fields at the boundaries of coronal holes and how they affect the steady emission of solar material known as the solar wind streaming from these holes."

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20 comments

First post!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39638331)

I for one welcome our new sun birthed coronal overlords!!!

Evolution of Sun Cells (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39638411)

Save some time: Rule 30 [wikipedia.org].
Or, if they have the internet on the sun, then it's Rule 34 [xkcd.com].

If Beavis and Butthead had read this (3, Funny)

Optic7 (688717) | about 2 years ago | (#39638447)

I would imagine that they would be saying something like:

Butthead: "Whoa, uhh... huh, huh, huh... he said coronal hole... huh, huh, huh."

Beavis: "Yeah, yeah... I'm Coronal Holio, and I need TP for my burn hole!"

PS: I hope my karma can withstand the solar flares that will probably result from this post.

Re:If Beavis and Butthead had read this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39640851)

SUGAR!

Is 'plasma' a tabu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39638917)

No reference to 'plasma' in the entire article.
Sun's corona is plasma. Plasma has cellular behavior. That's the reason it has that name.
Ah, and 'electric' seems to be banned too, considering that 'magnetic' (its unseparable mate) appears 15 times.

That's too f**ing 1984ish. NASA speaks Neospeak.

Re:Is 'plasma' a tabu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39639317)

Plasma got its name from the root Greek meaning of the word "to mold" as early discharges were seen to mold to electrodes producing them. The name has nothing to do with cellular behavior (even in biology there are examples of it being used to name fluids that don't have to do with cellular behavior due to the same Greek meaning).

And if you look up the original paper it mentions plasma several times. They probably skipped it in the PR piece to concentrate on a few unfamiliar things than try to teach all of astrophysics in a blurb. Of course, if it is so obvious that the corona is made of plasma, why do you expect them to take much time stating it? Should physics and engineering papers mention atoms whenever they are using something made of atoms?

Re:Is 'plasma' a tabu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39641955)

Perhaps you are overstating the "perhaps" in wikipedia. Langmuir named it so because it resembled the blood plasma which carries cells. He was aware of cellular behavior as he discovered sheaths and double layers. But setting aside the naming, plasma behaves making cells.
Can you link us to the original paper, please? If it's like you say, making an article and not mentioning, even accidentally, the word 'plasma' is f***ing hard.
I bet it's a forbidden word, and the same for 'electric' or 'electricity'.
It's f***ing 1984ish.
NASA is speaking Newspeak.

Re:Is 'plasma' a tabu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39654301)

Or perhaps I didn't get it from Wikipedia, but from the intro of a plamsa physics book which cites an American Scientist article from by Prof. Sanborn Brown who did a lot of early work with gas discharges and who seems to write about science history of related fields. I can't really see what plasma sheaths has to do with cellular behaviour, at least not any more than say boundary layer effects in aerodynamics or an electrostatic air scrubber which also have little to do with cellular behaviour.

The paper I found quickly by just searching the author's name and "cell" on Google scholar, it was the second link: here [iop.org]. It isn't that hard to not have the word plasma. Just flipping through a stack of papers on my desk I see an ICF paper and a tokamak paper that don't have the word plasma other than in journal names in the reference list. In short papers, there isn't much reason to state the obvious like that hydrogen at fusion temperatures is going to be a plasma, and it is just a matter of whether the jargon for their topic has the word "plasma" in it or not. And if it is a forbidden word, NASA seems to be doing a really bad job removing it, since it is mentioned in the FAQ, other stories, and featured in their "Solar Week" site pushing to explain science of the sun to in classrooms.

unscientific (2, Funny)

Dr. Tom (23206) | about 2 years ago | (#39638955)

The article uses a unit called "miles", so it's obviously not real science.

Re:unscientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39639187)

You may be a metric snob, but you'll be shocked to learn that units of the same type are freely interchangeable. Consequently you're not a real doctor, "Dr." Tom, or you'd know that.

Re:unscientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39639679)

Your sarcasm detection method is unscientific, too.

Re:unscientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39641881)

You're wrong ... in Jazz research, mentioning "Miles" is not deemed as unscientific behavior ...

Just what we need.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39638989)

Just what we need. A solution to make solar cells more efficient -- on the sun!!!

Kewl stuff! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39640209)

My father would have loved this stuff - he was an astro-geophysicist with a specialty in solar corona studies, as well as inter-planetary and inter-stellar fields. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1990.

K'zh astronomy log: 12th Order, Ftht 3.4 (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#39640219)

ip 2.c There [is] something different about the sun today. Must [may?] ask Ba'thlt.

[ED: Here the log ends. No further records of the K'zh or what happened to their civilization remain.]

Do these cells really evolve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39644583)

or are they intelligently created? To me they seem far to complex to have simply evolved on their own.

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