Revealing the Magnetic Nature of Tornadoes in the Sun’s atmosphere
In a study to be published in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal, a collaboration between the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), the University of Warwick and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) has achieved the first three-dimensional tomography of the magnetic fields in a solar tornado and have measured their faint polarimetric signals.
The constant motions of the Sun’s surface creates giant tornados in the chromosphere a few thousand kilometers in diameter. Like their name sakes on Earth they carry mass and energy high up into the atmosphere and are therefore keenly studied as energy channels to explain the extraordinary heating of the solar corona. The main building block of solar tornados are tangled magnetic fields. This work presents the first direct observation of the chromosphere magnetic field to reveal the magnetic nature of solar tornados. Read more