Mysterious solar waves have been discovered on the Sun and they travel a whopping 3 times faster than expected!
The Sun has been the source of life on Earth. It is also a never-ending source of human curiosity and keeps throwing up surprises as it just did. An unexpected phenomenon has been discovered on the Sun! In this development, a new type of high-frequency mysterious acoustic waves have been found on the Sun. Mysterious, because these solar waves seem to be defying expectations as they travel at much faster speeds than theoretically expected, leaving scientists baffled. Surprisingly, these mysterious solar waves are observed to be moving at a speed 3 times faster than predicted in theory.
Not just that, intriguingly, these high-frequency-retrograde vorticity waves actually travel in the opposite direction of the Sun’s rotation, which looks like the pattern of vortices on the surface of the Sun. The research on these mysterious solar waves has been undertaken by the Centre for Space Science, Abu Dhabi which was published in Nature Astronomy. It details how scientists analysed 25 years of space and ground-based data to detect these waves. The paper explains that this phenomenon cannot be explained by standard hydrodynamic mechanisms.
“We investigate three possibilities: that these vorticity waves are excited by the Coriolis force and modified by internal magnetic fields, gravity or compressibility. Incontrovertible identification of any of these coupled oscillations would influence our understanding of deep-interior magnetism, internal gravity oscillations or large-scale convection,” the research paper mentioned.
The Sun’s surface and atmosphere, as well as the temperature differences between these two areas, have long mystified scientists. Conventional astronomy cannot capture the interior of the Sun or stars, so astronomers must rely on understanding the surface signs of a variety of waves to image the interior.
The HFR waves could be driven at this speed by complex interactions between other well-known waves and magnetism, gravity, or convection. The discovery would have answered several open concerns about the Sun if the HFR waves could be traced to any of these three processes, according to the researchers.