The sun is the source of the existence of all life on our planet. Without the sun there would be no life. Despite the fact that astrophysicists around the world have long been studying the structure of the main star in our planetary system, many of the processes taking place in the Sun itself are still covered in a veil of secrecy. To better understand how the star is arranged, a group of American scientists built "The Sun in Miniature" in their lab.
Why build an artificial sun?
The installation was called Big Red Ball and is designed to simulate and simulate the behavior of solar plasma. Responsible for the development team at the University of Wisconsin Madison, led by physicist Carey Forester. As scientists reported in an interview with Natural Physics, reactions generated inside the Big Red Ball may mimic the properties of the solar magnetic field. In this way, phenomena can be replicated that have never before been observed on Earth.
By and large, Big Red Ball models only a fraction of the phenomena that occur in the Sun. However, observing solar plasma processes on a smaller scale will help to understand the origin and mechanics of such phenomena as solar wind.
This job is incredibly exciting, "says Elizabeth Jensen, a physicist working for the Big Red Ball team. The sun is still surprisingly poorly understood. One of the biggest puzzles is the operation of the solar wind, a stream of charged gas and plasma particles flowing from the sun's surface at extremely high speeds.
How does the artificial sun work?
In general, the Big Red Ball is a hollow, three-meter-long ball filled with helium plasma. In the middle of the apparatus is installed an extremely powerful magnetic system for generating a magnetic field. In fact, Big Red Ball repeats the structure of the sun, but in miniature. The most interesting thing started when scientists tested the installation.
That's interesting: how will our sun die?
Enclosed by the strength of their inner magnetic core, the particles mostly moved in the limited space of the sphere and rotated around the center. When the rotation reached a speed of 22,000 miles per hour (nearly 35,500 kilometers per hour), the plasma came off the ball at high speed.
"This critical threshold is the point at which plasma has gained enough energy to overcome its magnetic limits. The released particles had their own internal magnetic field, which allowed them to increase their speed. The modeling has shown us a simplified version of how, like the solar wind, you can overcome the sun's attraction, which is extremely strong (especially at the equator of the star). "
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