The remarkable progress, achieved in studies of solar physics lately, is connected first of all with the rapid development of space observation facilities. Nevertheless, quite many fundamental questions in the field still remain open. The prizewinner of the 2011 Contest of Governmental Program of Science Research Support for Young Russian Scholars, leading researcher of Lebedev Physics Institute, RAS (FIAN), Sergei Bogachev, Dr. Sc. (Phys. & Math.), told Vasily Yanchilin, a correspondent of the Poisk newspaper, about issues that are in the focus of astrophysicists' attention.
He emphasized that issues, related to the corona "activity" (outer solar atmosphere), present a real interest for scientists. As it is known, the temperature on the Sun's surface is about 6,000 °C, and in the thin, in solar scales, so-called transition region, where plasma density decreases considerably, reaches 1.5 min °C. So the energy is transmitted from a relatively cold body to a hot one. According to Bogachev, it is caused by the activity of some specific mechanisms. Due to space study devices, enabling to obtain unique detailed data on the object, we are capable to disclose and explore the causes of the given phenomenon.
Today scientists are already aware that none of the known solar activity manifestations has anything to do with heating. Such a conclusion was drawn from recent experiments. In 2008-2009, when this heavenly body underwent one of the most thorough observations of minimums of its "vital activity" for the last 260 years, no sunspots, no flashes, no strong magnetic fields were registered by the scientists. Nevertheless, the corona did not get cold at that time, its size and density did not decrease. This fact testifies that the hot solar atmosphere forms due to invisible uninterrupted microprocesses. Modern methods allow to determine where precisely they occur: 10,000 km thick area is registered directly over the Sun's surface, and the temperature at its ... Читать далее