September 26, 2022

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Solve the mystery of the solar wind reflection – space and astronomy

The mechanism responsible for the sudden reversals of the solar wind’s magnetic field, a mysterious phenomenon first observed in 2018, was first understood. The result of the Italian group led by Daniele Teloni, of the National Institute of Wind Astrophysics (Inaf), which used data from the Italian onboard instrument The Solar Orbiter, the European Space Agency (ESA) probe launched in 2020 to study the Sun up close. search published In The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

First observed by NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, the reversal of the solar magnetic field presents a major puzzle in the understanding of solar dynamics. These are rapid fluctuations spread like “frustration” that alter the natural motion of the solar wind, that is, the energetic, charged particles that the star is constantly emitting. Understanding the phenomenon was possible on the occasion of a close pass of the probe, since one of these phenomena could be closely observed.

This was observed by the Italian advanced corona scientist Metis created by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), whose data was also analyzed with the contribution of researchers from the Universities of Florence and Padua and the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnology of the National Research Council (Cnr-Ifn). This result was obtained thanks to the high resolution achieved by Metis during the close passage of the Sun, said Marco Stangalini, ASI’s head of the Solar Orbiter mission, which allowed the solution and study of the small structure of the solar corona. “.

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