Comet’s tail gave storms and squalls

MOSCOW, October 14 – RIA Novosti. Observing the behavior of the dust tail of comet Encke using the STEREO probes helped astronomers figure out what in the void between the planets of the Solar system “walk” a powerful storm, the whirlwinds and squalls, according to a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal.

“The solar wind in the vicinity of the Earth approximately 70 times hotter than it should be in theory, if we rely on the temperature of the solar corona and how much it expands as it moves through the void. Then, where does this excess heat had remained a mystery to physics of the solar wind for many decades,” said Craig Deforest (Craig DeForest) at the southwest research Institute in boulder (USA).

DeForest and his colleagues have solved this mystery and explained a few other unusual features in the life of the Solar system, observing the comet Encke using a pair of STEREO satellites launched by NASA to monitor the “weather” in the Sun.

This comet, discovered in 1783 by the German astronomer Johann Franz Encke, every three years, moving closer to the Sun at a perilous distance, resulting in its coma – the glowing tail of gas and dust – razrastatsya large sizes. This large yet dense dust plume, as explained by scientists, interacts with the solar wind, curving and changing under the pressure of a gas and dispersed particles emitted by the Sun.

One day, in 2007, comet Encke and the Sun was at the point of emptiness of the Solar system, seen by both STEREO probe that allowed scientists to view three-dimensional picture of how the solar wind moves and how it interacts with ions in the comet’s tail.

As recognized by researchers, the source of this turbulence is still unknown. According to them, the chance to solve the mystery of these mysterious storms in the emptiness of the Solar system will appear in 2018, when NASA will send to the Sun the probe SPP, which gets closer to the sun at the distance in nine of its radii, and study the properties of the circumsolar plasma and environment.

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