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Press Release 07-060

Magnetic Field Uses Sound Waves to Ignite Sun's Ring of Fire

Research explains century-old mystery about the interior of the sun

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Jets of hot gas and sound waves escape sun's surface through magnetic "portals".

Researchers have found that the sun's magnetic field allows the release of wave energy from its interior, permitting sound waves to travel through thin fountains, or "spicules", upward and into the chromosphere. The chromosphere is the region of the sun that looks like a red ring of fire during an eclipse.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

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