MAR 04, 2018 12:33 AM PST

A Mini Solar Storm Lab

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

To better understand how plasma breaks from the sun, scientists create a laboratory that demonstrates "a mini solar storm" right here on earth. This lab consists of a machine that illustrates a portion of the sun's surface enclosed in a chamber. The chamber includes a huge amount of electric currents that fuel a magnetic field through a specialized rod. This process generates a cloud of plasma for replication of the sun's surface. However, the formation of the "plasma cloud" occurs only in a split second and must be imaged by a high-speed camera. The imaging developed shows a plasma loop stretching outwards at very high velocity forming what is known as magnetic reconnection. Scientists hope that through this mini solar storm lab they can understand how plasma from the sun can reach the earth and wreak havoc.
About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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