Solar Charybdis

Using the Swedish 1m Solar Telescope, researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias have caught footage of plasma hurricanes on the surface of the Sun. These vortexes were predicted based on theoretical models of how convecting solar plasma should behave, but this is the first time the phenomenon has been caught on video. Because the gyres are so small relative to the size of the Sun, they’re very hard to detect.

This is just begging to be made into a movie special effect.


~ by Planetologist on October 7, 2008.

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