The Sun appears to shine almost continuously in our sky. But researchers are now reporting recording an unexplained bright light coming from our star.
According to the latest estimates, our SoleilSoleil Peak activity can be reached in about a year. rapidly increasing numbers and widespread solar flares and solar flaressolar flares This is being confirmed again and again. But what researchers from Michigan State University (USA) have reported today is not related to this cycle of activity. This discovery was made during a relatively quiet period of our star. Yet it is actually the most energetic radiation ever recorded from the Sun.
a tool to unlock the secrets of sunlight
physicistsphysicists It was discovered in data collected by an observatory dedicated to the study of gamma radiation. high altitude water cherenkov (HAWC, Mexico) Use, an observatory whose advantage is CaseCase To work 24 hours a day, not just at night. Between 2014 and 2021, the researchers expect emissions from our Sun to be between 0.5 and 2.6 teraelectronvolts (TeV) – with a peak at 10 TeV – that is, about 1,000 billion electronvolts. that is, for comparison, more than 1,000 billion timesenergyenergy of visible light sent to us by our star.
and it remains much less than the source of gamma raysgamma rays The most intense ever observed in our universe, at about 450 TeV. but still more than that the astronomersthe astronomers The Sun was conceived of as possible.
Brilliant light resulting from interactions with cosmic radiation?
To explain the phenomenon, the researchers invoke interactions between galactic cosmic rays in the gigaelectronvolt range (GEVGEV) — produced by black holesblack holes or from the explosion of a supernova star – and in the atomic nucleusAtmosphereAtmosphere Solar. He theorized them in the 1990s, but rarely imagined them reaching Earth. Then the Fermi mission exposed them. in larger quantities than expected.
And physicists then suspected the existence of even more energetic gamma radiation. Especially when the Sun is in a calm state. Data from the HAWC observatory has just confirmed this. It remains to be understood how such energies can be accessed. and if Magnetic FieldMagnetic Field The one who rules our star’s heart has a role to play.