Solar tornadoes captured on film by Aberystwyth University
Published: 29th Mar 2012 08:35:23
Scientists at Aberystwyth University have discovered and filmed a group of solar tornadoes - several times as wide as the Earth - on the face of the Sun.
Researchers found the storms using an atmospheric telescope on board NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO).
They will present a movie of their findings at a National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester today.
"This is perhaps the first time that such a huge solar tornado is filmed by an imager," said lecturer Dr Xing Li.
The academic from the university's Institute of Mathematics and Physics added: "Previously much smaller solar tornadoes were found by SOHO satellite.
"But they were not filmed."
The solar tornadoes were observed on 25 September 2011.
They were discovered using the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) telescope on board NASA's SDO satellite, which was launched in February 2010.
It monitors solar variations so scientists can understand the cause of the change and eventually have a capability to predict the space weather.
Dr Huw Morgan, co-discover of the solar tornado, said: "This unique and spectacular tornado must play a role in triggering global solar storms."
The AIA saw superheated gases as hot as 50,000 to 2,000,000 Kelvin (47,250 to 2,000,000 Celsius) sucked from the root of a dense structure called prominence, and spiral up into the high atmosphere and travel about 200,000km (125,000 miles) along helical paths for a period of at least three hours.
The hot gases in the tornadoes have speeds as high as 300,000km per hour (186,400mph).
Gas speeds of terrestrial tornadoes can reach 150km per hour (93mph).
The tornadoes often occur at the root of huge coronal mass ejections.
When heading toward the Earth, these coronal mass ejections can cause significant damage to the earth's space environment, satellites, even knock out the electricity grid.
At 12:58:39 in EnglandA poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
At 12:58:21 in SportKent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
At 12:56:04 in ScotlandA hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
At 12:55:09 in BusinessThe sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
At 12:54:04 in HeadlinesIndia's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
At 12:53:21 in SportCrystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association and warned about his future conduct for Twitter comments he made in relation to former boss Neil Warnock.
At 12:52:43 in HeadlinesA second witness at the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has told a court in the capital Pretoria she was awoken by the sounds of a fight early on 14 February 2013.
At 12:42:01 in PoliticsThere is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
At 12:41:48 in EnglandA residential treatment programme for addicts which closed in Yeovil is to reopen after the charity running it merged with another organisation.
At 12:40:03 in ScotlandPolice Scotland has exceeded its target to recruit 1,000 additional officers.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Solar tornadoes captured on film by Aberystwyth University [Online] (Updated 29th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1419451/Solar-tornadoes-captured-on-film-by-Aberystwyth-University [Accessed 8th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
The law needs to be changed to stop ticket touts overcharging fans ahead of the Rugby World Cup, an MP has said.
Two hospitals missed opportunities to take action against a consultant breast surgeon who was performing unnecessary or incomplete operations, a review has found.
A man in his 40s has been injured during what is believed to have been an attempted armed robbery in County Down.
Apple has unveiled its new iPhone technology for cars at the Geneva Motor Show.
Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales has "a sort of mild Alzheimer's", her husband Tim West has revealed in the Radio Times.
A poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.