Our Sun Is Just An Ordinary Star, Study Reveals

Posted: Jul 15 2017, 10:37pm CDT | by , Updated: Jul 15 2017, 10:42pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Our Sun is Just an Ordinary Star, Study Reveals
Credit: NASA
 

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New study settles the longstanding dispute over the uniqueness of our sun

Our Sun is not so special after all. It is an ordinary star, similar to billions of others scattered across the universe. Researchers have come to that conclusion after conducting a comprehensive comparison of sun with other stars.

Researchers have long argued about whether the star at the center of solar system has a different cyclic behavior than the stars in its nearby region. But their arguments always lacked conclusive evidences.

Activities on sun, from the appearance of sunspots to the release of solar flares and ejections of plasma from sun’s corona, vary on its natural 11-year cycle and all these solar activities are driven by changes in its magnetic field. Many researchers believed that magnetic cycle of sun is fundamentally unique and it does not match the cycles observed on other solar-type stars.

“We have shed light on a fundamental mechanism which determines the length of these cycles, which helps us understand the cycle itself over the long-term,” said lead author Antoine Strugarek, a researcher at the University of Montreal.

"We can therefore say of the Sun's next magnetic cycle in 10 or 20 years will be intense, long or short, which helps us understand among other things what kind of satellites to put in orbit and the most favorable launch windows.”

By carrying out a series of simulations of stellar magnetic fields, researchers found that the Sun's magnetic cycle depends on its rotation rate and total amount of energy released from its surface.

When researchers compared the results of their simulations with observations of cyclic activity of nearby solar-type stars, they found that indeed, the cycle periods of sun and other stars follow the same pattern.

“This research shows that the 11-year cycle is the principal cycle of all solar-type stars.” Allan Sacha Brun, principal investigator of the European Research Council project called STARS2, said.

Nevertheless, sun is still special to us. It gives us light and energy. Without this star life on Earth would not survive or even exist.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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