Scientists are stunned as a massive piece of the sun breaks off. Scientists are attempting to figure out what effect this massive prominence will have on Earth.
Astronomers have long been attracted by the Sun. And now, experts are perplexed by a new development. A massive chunk of the Sun’s surface shattered, causing a tornado-like whirl around its North Pole. Though scientists are still attempting to figure out how this happened, the footage of the event has startled the space community. The amazing occurrence was captured by NASA’s James Webb telescope and published on Twitter last week by Dr Tamitha Skov, a space weather forecaster. Scientists are particularly worried about the current development since the Sun continues to release solar flares (called prominences) that sometimes disrupt communications on Earth.
“What a Polar Vortex! Material from a northern prominence has recently separated from the main filament and is presently whirling in a gigantic polar vortex around our Star’s north pole. The implications for comprehending the Sun’s atmosphere dynamics above 55 degrees are enormous!” Dr. Skov said this in a tweet last week.
Talk about Polar Vortex! Material from a northern prominence just broke away from the main filament & is now circulating in a massive polar vortex around the north pole of our Star. Implications for understanding the Sun's atmospheric dynamics above 55° here cannot be overstated! pic.twitter.com/1SKhunaXvP
— Dr. Tamitha Skov (@TamithaSkov) February 2, 2023
According to NASA, a prominence is a huge luminous feature that extends outward from the surface of the Sun. There have been other similar incidents in the past, but this one has the scientific community baffled.
“More measurements of the #SolarPolarVortex show that it took around 8 hours for material to circle the pole at 60 degrees latitude. This suggests that the top limit for horizontal wind speed estimate in this occurrence is 96 kilometres per second, or 60 miles per second!” Dr. Skov added in a later tweet.
Scott McIntosh of the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research, a solar physicist who has been studying the Sun for decades, told Space.com that he had never witnessed a “vortex” like the one that happened when a fragment of the prominence broke away and was blasted into the solar atmosphere.
Space experts are currently investigating the bizarre incident in order to acquire additional information and offer a more complete picture. Though our favourite star is constantly watched, it continues to surprise us, as seen by the many intense flares that interrupted contact on Earth this month.