(ORDO NEWS) — From time to time, powerful surges of plasma occur on the Sun that affect the Earth’s magnetic field. This kind of phenomenon is called the “solar storm”. They can affect the operation of electrical networks, artificial Earth satellites and electronics-related infrastructures. It is not yet possible to predict magnetic storms for a period longer than a few days.
In the middle of the last century, the so-called Rossby waves were discovered, global wave-like patterns that arise due to changes in the Coriolis forces depending on latitude.
The discovery of Rossby waves in the Earth’s atmosphere laid the foundation for a reasonably accurate medium-term and long-term weather forecasting.
Rossby waves in the solar plasma occur as a result of the rotation of the star and arise in the transition layer, known as tachocline. Unlike Rossby earth waves, solar waves are strongly affected by powerful magnetic fields. Recent observations and theoretical modeling show that these magnetically modified Rossby waves interact with different speeds of rotation of the solar plasma, causing solar storms.
A group of scientists from the United States suggested that computational methods developed for meteorology could serve as the basis for strategies for predicting solar storms. The hypothesis of specialists is published on the pages of the EOS publication.
In the future, scientists could use observations of the surface of the Sun as indicators of the dynamics of Rossby waves on the Sun, potentially identifying the precursors of solar storms weeks, months, or even several years before their eruption.
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