NASA scientists solved the mystery of solar flares

Physicists have established the reason for the rapid reconnection of magnetic lines. They are one of the most mysterious mechanisms of the occurrence of solar flares. The reason for them was the Hall Effect, which causes a significant potential difference between the ions.

One of the causes of solar flares is the Hall Effect. Source:

Physicists solved the cause of solar flares

For 60 years, physicists have been observing solar flares and trying to unravel the physical processes that lead to them. Recently, scientists from the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission of the US National Space Research Agency (MMS NASA) were able to unravel one of the most mysterious mechanisms behind this.

In an article published in the journal Nature’s Communications Physics, scientists studied the so-called rapid magnetic reconnection. They came to the conclusion that the reason for it is the Hall Effect, as a result of which magnetic fields in the plasma of the solar atmosphere begin to act separately on ions and electrons.

Plasma is a state of matter in which all electrons, due to the intention of energy, break away from their atoms and atoms turn into charged ions. Matter in this state is extremely sensitive to magnetic fields. And they are very curved and often torn near sunspots, which are now being actively studied.

One of the known mechanisms of the occurrence of particularly powerful solar flares is magnetic reconnection. It occurs when the broken lines of the magnetic field try to connect back, but they close with the wrong “pieces” that are needed. In this case, there is a powerful release of ions into space, which can reach the Earth’s magnetosphere and cause problems with electricity and human health.

Mystery of solar flares and the Hall Effect

There are several types of magnetic reconnection. And the mentioned fast type is the most mysterious. Because it happens in the same time intervals, regardless of the characteristics of the flare. No one has understood the reason for this until now. And now there was an assumption that this is the Hall effect.

It lies in the occurrence of an electric potential in a conductor placed in a magnetic field if the direction of the current in it is perpendicular to the lines of force. It usually manifests in that the current begins to deviate from a straight line.

In the plasma of the Sun’s atmosphere, the Hall effect acts on ions and electrons. They begin to move in different directions and an “energy” vacuum arises. Under these conditions, the particles try to reconnect and the energy of the assumed magnitude is released.

Mechanism of action of the Hall Effect in the plasma of the Sun. Source: Tom Bridgman/NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Hereinafter, this theory is planned to be tested with the help of NASA’s MMS orbiters. The Solar Orbiter probe should also play a role. If the scientists’ reasoning is confirmed, then they can be used to predict solar flares and, as a result, magnetic storms on Earth

According to

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