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  what have we learnt from TRACE?

what have we learnt from TRACE?

 

The first thing that TRACE has shown us is that the solar atmosphere is much more complicated than we thought it was. It has lots of tangled and twisted loops, which light up, change shape, move around and sometimes even explode.

 

We have been able to see material flowing along the loops. The plasma moves along loops at speeds of up to 150,000 km per hour (before you ask, that's about 500 times faster than a top-of-the-range Ferrari!).

 

Although we know that material is flowing along these loops, we're still not sure what makes it flow. More work is needed.

 

     
You can see more movies in our Gallery [Movie file 1mb or more - High quality] You can see more movies in our Gallery [Movie file 1mb or more - High quality]
     
 
     

Sometimes you can actually see bright material moving along loops. Here’s a movie so you can have a look yourself.


 

Here is a TRACE movie of an active region which had a very large solar flare.

The TRACE movies show us that the loops are changing all the time. Sometimes they change relatively slowly and sometimes they suddenly erupt and explode. We call this a solar flare. You can learn more about solar flares in the section by Louise and Sarah.

 

 

 

We have suspected for a long time that the magnetic field on the Sun is important, but with the results from TRACE we have realised just how important it really is.

 
   

 

   
 
 

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