Exploring The Solar Wind With A New View Of Small Sun Structures

Scientists have combined NASA data and cutting-edge image processing to gain new insight into the solar structures that create the Sun’s flow of high-speed solar wind, detailed in new research published today in The Astrophysical JournalThis first look at relatively small features, dubbed “plumelets,” could help scientists understand how and why disturbances form in the solar wind.

The Sun’s magnetic influence stretches billions of miles, far past the orbit of Pluto and the planets, defined by a driving force: the solar wind. This constant outflow of solar material carries the Sun’s magnetic field out into space, where it shapes the environments around Earth, other worlds, and in the reaches of deep space. Changes in the solar wind can create space weather effects that influence not only the planets, but also human and robotic explorers throughout the solar system — and this work suggests that relatively small, previously-unexplored features close to the Sun’s surface could play a crucial role in the solar wind’s characteristics. Read more…..


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