Why the chemical composition of the sun varies

Why the chemical composition of the sun varies

The solar corona as seen in white light during the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 from Mitchell, Oregon. The moon blocks the central part of the Sun, allowing the thin outer regions to be seen in detail. The image is courtesy of Benjamin Boe and first published in “Thermodynamic changes induced by CME in the corona as deduced from observations of Fe XI and Fe XIV emissions during the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 », Boe, Habbal, Druckmüller, Ding, Hodérova, & Štarha, Astrophysical Journal, 888, 100, (January 10, 2020). Credit: American Astronomical Society (AAS)

About 17 years ago, J. Martin Laming, an astrophysicist at the US Naval Research Laboratory, theorized why the chemical composition of the Sun’s thin outermost layer differs from that at the bottom. His theory has recently been valid by combined observations of the Sun’s magnetic waves from Earth and from space.

His most recent scientific journal article describes how these magnetic waves modify the chemical composition in a completely new process in solar physics or astrophysics, but already known in optical sciences, having been the subject of Nobel prizes awarded to Steven Chu in…

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