Focus: GS I: Geography
Why in News?
Researchers have been closely monitoring the ongoing changes in the energy state of the solar eruption’s core that occurred on July 20, 2017, and have made an intriguing discovery.
Findings of the Study:
Core Temperature Stability:
- The study found that despite the eruption expelling highly magnetized plasma from the solar corona into space, the core of the Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) maintained a consistently stable temperature.
- The CME core remained at a constant temperature as it propagated from 1.05 to 1.35 R sun, defying the expected adiabatic cooling due to expansion.
Behavior of CME Core Expansion:
- The expansion of the CME core exhibited characteristics more akin to an isothermal process than an adiabatic process.
- In an isothermal process, the temperature of the system remains constant, while an adiabatic process involves no heat transfer between the system and its surroundings.
Explanation of “1.05 to 1.35 Rsun”:
- The expression “1.05 to 1.35 Rsun” denotes a range of values representing the size or radius of the Sun.
- The object being described has a radius ranging from 1.05 times the radius of the Sun (Rsun) to 1.35 times the radius of the Sun.
Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs):
Definition and Impact:
- CMEs are large-scale eruptions of charged particles (plasma) and magnetic fields from the solar atmosphere into space.
- These eruptions can disrupt various ground- and space-based technologies, as well as satellites on Earth.
Thermodynamic Properties of CMEs:
- Understanding the evolution of thermodynamic properties, such as temperature and density, within CMEs is crucial for assessing their impact on communication systems on Earth.
- CMEs exhibit a wide range of plasma temperatures, spanning from cold chromospheric material (around 104 K) to hot plasma (around 107 K).
Energy Exchange Processes in CMEs:
- As CMEs propagate, different processes can exchange energy (electrical, kinetic, potential, thermal, etc.), leading to heating or cooling of the plasma.
- Gaining a better understanding of CMEs enables improved monitoring of space weather and its potential effects.