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The sun as we've never seen it before - clearest and most detailed images of the Sun revealed

The clearest and most detailed images of the Sun have been captured by the largest telescope in the world. Just-released first images and videos from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope reveal unprecedented detail of the Sun’s surface, with experts saying it will enable a new era of solar science and a leap forward in understanding the Sun and its impacts on our planet.

Members of the Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics at the University of Warwick are part of a UK consortium, led by Queen’s University Belfast, that developed and supplied the cameras used to takes the images. Funding has been provided by UK Research and Innovation’s Science and Technology Facilities Council.

The Inouye Solar Telescope provides a view of the Sun’s atmosphere that is ground-breaking. The dynamics of the solar surface are revealed at an unparalleled level of quality and detail. The telescope will provide the ladder for a step change in our understanding of how the Sun’s activity manifests itself through flares and eruptions, as well as the flow of energy and matter into the Sun’s corona. The telescope will also play a critical role in understanding space weather.

More information can be found at https://www.nso.edu/inouye-solar-telescope-first-light/ and https://www.nsf.gov/solarscience.

Image credit: NSO/NSF/AURA

Thu 30 Jan 2020, 14:12 | Tags: Press, Research

Likelihood of space super-storms estimated from 150 years of historical magnetic field observations

A ‘great’ space weather super-storm large enough to cause significant disruption to our electronic and networked systems occurred on average once in every 25 years.This result was made possible by a new way of analysing historical data from the last 14 solar cycles, long before high quality observations became available in the space age since 1957. The analysis shows that ‘severe’ magnetic storms occurred in 42 out of the last 150 years, and ‘great’ super-storms occurred in 6 years out of 150. Super-storms can cause power blackouts, take out satellites, disrupt aviation and cause temporary loss of GPS signals and radio communications.

Chapman, Horne, Watkins, Using the aa index over the last 14 solar cycles to characterize extreme geomagnetic activity is published in Geophysical Research Letters

Thu 30 Jan 2020, 00:46 | Tags: Press, Research

Dave Armstrong appears on "The Sky at Night"

On 8 September, David Armstrong of the Astronomy and Astrophysics group appeared on the iconic BBC astronomy show "The Sky at Night" to discuss the hunt for exoplanets with host Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

The episode is available on BBC iPlayer until 12 October.


First-ever visualisations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure could lead to longer-lasting devices

A team including Neil Wilson and Nick Hine has visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high-performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in operating microelectronic devices made of atomically thin, so-called two-dimensional, materials.

Using this information, they can create visual representations of the electrical and optical properties of the materials to guide engineers in maximising their potential in electronic components.

The experimentally-led study is published in Nature and could also help pave the way for the two-dimensional semiconductors that are likely to play a role in the next generation of electronics, in applications such as photovoltaics, mobile devices and quantum computers.

Thu 18 Jul 2019, 09:28 | Tags: Press, Research

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