Solar spicules and polymeric jets

The publication


Spicules are plasma jets that are observed in the dynamic interface region between the visible solar surface and the hot corona. At any given time, it is estimated that about 3 million spicules are present on the Sun. We find an intriguing parallel between the simulated spicular forest in a solar-like atmosphere and the numerous jets of polymeric fluids when both are subjected to harmonic forcing. In a radiative magnetohydrodynamic numerical simulation with sub-surface convection, solar global surface oscillations are excited similarly to those harmonic vibrations. The jets thus produced match remarkably well with the forests of spicules detected in observations of the Sun. Taken together, the numerical simulations of the Sun and the laboratory fluid dynamics experiments provide insights into the mechanism underlying the ubiquity of jets. The non-linear focusing of quasi-periodic waves in anisotropic media of magnetized plasma as well as polymeric fluids under gravity is sufficient to generate a forest of jets. A combination of numerical simulations and fluid dynamics experiments provides insights into the generation of a forest of solar plasma jets on the Sun.

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Murthy O V S N
Murthy O V S N

Physicist and educator in Bengaluru, India