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Submission + - Plasma Flow Linked to Spotless Sun

An anonymous reader writes: NASA explained the mystery behind the decreased solar activity during the Sun's 11-year cycle, linking it to the changing speeds of plasma inside the Sun. The new computer model study suggests the Sun's plasma rivers speed up and slow down like a malfunctioning conveyor belt. The scientists identified that variations in a hot plasma flow in the sun's interior is the likely reason behind the lack of sunspots and a weak magnetic field at the sun's poles.

The Secret of the Sun's Heated Atmosphere 158

eldavojohn writes "There has long been speculation on why the Sun's surface is a mere ten thousand degrees while the atmosphere can reach millions. Space.com is reporting that the mystery has now been solved. Researchers looked for Alfven waves in the solar chromosphere and found them. Followup studies employing simulations demonstrated that the energetics work out to transfer energy from the Sun's surface to its overlying corona.. The magnetic waves may also be the power source behind the solar wind."

Aftermath of Distant Planetary Collision? 97

gazurtoid writes "Astrobiology Magazine is reporting that astronomers have announced a mystery object orbiting the 8-million-year-old brown dwarf 2M1207 170 light-years from Earth might have formed from the collision and merger of two protoplanets. The object, known as 2M1207B, has puzzled astronomers since its discovery because it seems to fall outside the spectrum of physical possibility. Its combination of temperature, luminosity, and age do not match up with any theory. 'Hot, post-collision planets might be a whole new class of objects we will see with the Giant Magellan Telescope', said Eric Mamajek of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics."

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!