An Introduction to Space Weather by Mark Moldwin

By Mark Moldwin

One in all first undergraduate textbooks on house climate designed for introductory area physics classes.

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Another example, solar flares, are much more energetic than prominences. 4 The Sun rotates faster at the equator than at the poles. This is possible because the Sun is a ball of gas. The three panels show the effect of differential rotation on the Sun’s magnetic field (from NASA TRACE Mission). 6 Dynamics and processes release tremendous amounts of energy in a few minutes and can reach temperatures of 100 million K (much hotter than even the core of the Sun). This energy is equivalent to hundreds of millions of megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time.

This is a lot of mass, but very little compared with the total mass of the Sun. The energy from nuclear fusion is emitted in the form of gamma rays – the highest-energy form of electromagnetic radiation. As gamma-ray photons make their way through the Sun – colliding and being absorbed and re-emitted by the matter in the Sun – they lose energy. Eventually the energy leaves the photosphere, mostly in the form of visible light. A small amount of the energy is carried off by neutrinos as a by-product of the fusion process.

4, this differential rotation causes a twisting of the overall solar magnetic field. 2 Solar active regions Many pairs of sunspots are associated with explosive releases of energy from the photosphere. These areas of activity are simply called active regions. Though the exact mechanisms that cause the explosive release of energy from the Sun’s surface are not known, we do know that they are related to the rapid conversion of magnetic energy into particle kinetic energy. This conversion takes place in regions of strong magnetic fields, and the twisting of the surface magnetic field often leads to rapid energy release.

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An Introduction to Space Weather by Mark Moldwin
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