SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Giant Tornadoes Seen Erupting From the Sun
from National Geographic News
The sun produces giant tornado-like jets that stretch thousands of miles into space, new satellite data shows. The solar tornadoes typically last about ten minutes and occur near the sun's poles.
"These solar tornadoes are almost a thousand times faster than a terrestrial tornado and are very big," said Spiros Patsourakos, a researcher at George Mason University.
Scientists have known since the 1990s that jets of gas wider than North America were erupting from the sun's poles, but it is only now that they discovered these jets are rotating. That's because a new pair of NASA satellites called STEREO allowed the features to be observed from two directions at once, revealing their three-dimensional structures.
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PODCASTS: Expanding With the Cosmos
Using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ATC), a 6.5-meter microwave collector in Chile, cosmologists are piecing together the early history of the known universe. In an exclusive American Scientist interview, Arthur Kosowsky—a member of the ATC team and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh—discusses how he is using ATC to reach back in time billions of years to search for gravitational waves that could verify inflation and reveal unprecedented details about how the cosmos was born.
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