Sun’s Plasma Loops Rcreated in Lab to Help Understand Solar Physics
In orbit around Earth is a wide range of satellites that we rely on for everything from television and radio feeds to GPS navigation. Although these spacecraft soar high above storms on Earth, they are still vulnerable to weather—only it’s weather from the sun. Large solar flares—or plasma that erupts from the sun’s surface—can cause widespread damage, both in space and on Earth, which is why researchers at the California Institute of Technology are working to learn more about the possible precursors to solar flares called plasma loops. Now, they have recreated these loops in the lab.