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Space Science

Mystery of Sun's Outer Atmosphere Solved 56

xp65 writes "For decades, scientists have puzzled over the mystery of why temperatures in the solar corona, the sun's outer atmosphere, soar to several million Kelvin (K) — much hotter than temperatures nearer the sun's surface. New observations made with instruments aboard Japan's Hinode satellite reveal the culprit to be nanoflares. Nanoflares are small, sudden bursts of heat and energy. 'They occur within tiny strands that are bundled together to form a magnetic tube called a coronal loop,' says astrophysicist James Klimchuk. Coronal loops are the fundamental building blocks of the thin, translucent gas known as the sun's corona. The discovery that nanoflares play an important and perhaps dominant role in coronal heating paves the way to understanding how the sun affects Earth and its atmosphere."
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Mystery of Sun's Outer Atmosphere Solved

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  • by distantbody ( 852269 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @10:17AM (#29075807) Journal
    Are they advocating a hands-on approach to rocketry?
  • Re:alternative (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @12:32PM (#29076505) Journal

    Your comment was marked flamebait because with the article's wording "The discovery that nanoflares play an important and perhaps dominant role in coronal heating paves the way to understanding how the sun affects Earth and its atmosphere" along with your mocking the global warming zealots attempts of banning all things that don't fit their world hit too close to home.

    The science is settled BTW, we already know all there is to know about how the sun warms the Earth and what causes global warming. Any information contrary to what is currently known and pushing the agenda is psudosciense and any semi-intelligent comment will be modded down by the Global Warming trolls. This is slashdot, what do you expect when science rules only when it agrees with their point of view.

  • Re:alternative (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @03:40PM (#29077939) Journal

    I think you don't know what I know. The comment was a bashing on the mods who modded you down, not an attack on you.

    The zealots say the science is settled, that it's a fact and undeniable, the article says this discovery paves the way to understanding how the sun affects Earth and its atmosphere, You comment joked about their attempts to ban everything that's detrimental to the earth as they know it (or at least that's how it is perceived), that is why you were modded Flamebait.

    The point I was making is that given all the relevant data, you comment intruded on their religion and it seems to be one of the only ones accepted here so you were modded down for making an obvious joke.

  • Mystery NOT solved (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eukariote ( 881204 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @06:15PM (#29078983)

    The "explanation" shifts the blame to "nanoflares". Why? Well, because "These temperatures can only be produced by impulsive energy bursts". But just because that is the only mechanism James Klimchuk can think of does not mean that there is no other mechanism. Indeed, anomalous extreme temperatures have been observed in coronal-alike plasmas under laboratory conditions: []. No "nanoflares" in that 0.4 Torr Pyrex cylinder.

    This is typical overconfidence in theory. The reasoning is: nature must obey our currently accepted theories, and within the context of those theories I see only one possible cause, so that must be it. Such hubris. The accepted theories are likely to be incomplete, and might be downright wrong in places.

    Then there is the title of the post: "Mystery of Sun's Outer Atmosphere Solved" Finely tuned to plant the mistaken belief in the mind of the Slashdot crowd that it has been figured out. Nothing more to see here. Please move along. After all, we don't want people to get a clue as to what is actually producing all that energy needed to keep the corona piping hot, do we?

  • by Jesus_666 ( 702802 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @06:33PM (#29079087)
    So the sun being perceived as a thermonuclear as opposed to an electrical phenomenon somehow works in favor of the power companies? Or is it the military? I really have no idea how the Electrical Universe not being mainstream somehow keeps us from having free energy. If you can use EU to gather energy from nowhere, all you need to do is implement it. And no, the big companies can hardly do anything against it if you open-source your findings and spam it across half the internet. The Streisand effect works.
  • Which is why I find it truly amazing that we have ANY zealots in the fields of science. if there is ONE thing we have learned of in the past 100 years it is this: The forces at work in just the universe we can see is on a truly incredible scale, and with every new piece of hardware, with every new scientific telescope or collider, we learn that we are truly at our infancy at this stage when it comes to understanding the universe.

    Is the universe electric? Fuck if I know! The simple fact is we don't really have a definitive answer on much of anything ATM, because all our models break down at the sub atomic or immense scale of galaxies. trust me, all this stuff that folks are so sure about now will probably turn out to be as much bullshit as the surety that the world was flat. All we can do is put forth new ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem, and test and prove or disprove them. And with each new advance we will get another tiny piece of the puzzle and maybe in a few centuries if we don't blow ourselves up or have a natural disaster we may finally figure out WTF is going on here.

    But putting someone down for looking at things a different way gets us nowhere. We have to dream, and look outside the box, and come up with new ways and new ideas and new uses for the machines and the data we have so far. Because that is how we learn folks. Questions and theories and possible dead ends that will hopefully point us in another direction that is more on the money. I for one am happy to hear and look at any theory that helps explain where we are and what we know about this gigantic wonderland around us. just because something can't be proven ATM doesn't mean that in 50 years we won't trip over something and go " I get it!". Zealotry and the suppression of differing viewpoints is never a good idea. If we don't constantly challenge our notions and put for new theories, then how will we learn?

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie