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News Release: NASA'S SOLAR DYNAMICS OBSERVATORY DETECTS SUPERFAST SOLAR WAVES MOVING AT 2,000 KM PER SECOND

19 Jun 2011, 22:01 UTC
News Release: NASA'S SOLAR DYNAMICS OBSERVATORY DETECTS SUPERFAST SOLAR WAVES MOVING AT 2,000 KM PER SECOND
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PALO ALTO, Calif., June 15, 2011 - Scientists using the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument on board NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), have detected quasi-periodic waves in the low solar corona that travel at speeds as high as 2,000 kilometers per second (4.5 million miles per hour). These observations provide, for the first time, unambiguous evidence of propagating fast mode magnetosonic waves at such high speeds in the Sun's low atmosphere. Dr. Wei Liu, a Stanford University Research Associate at the Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL) at the company's Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto, presented the findings Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society, in Las Cruces, N.M. A paper detailing the discovery has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. It is well known that the hot plasma in the solar corona oscillates and produces propagating waves when "kicked" by a flare or eruption, similar to ripples in water produced by dropping a rock into a still pond. Theories and computer models predicted the existence of slow and fast moving waves, and the former were clearly seen by solar observatories in space. However, clues ...

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