Solar Jets or Spicules – UPSC Prelims

Solar Jets or Spicules:
  • Solar plasma jets, or spicules, are powerful plasma streams constantly ejecting from the Sun’s chromosphere (an atmospheric layer above the Sun’s visible surface).
  • Solar jets, or spicules, appear as thin grass-like plasma structures that constantly shoot up from the surface and are then brought down by gravity.
  • These jets rise and fall back under the influence of the Sun’s gravity, which is 20 to 30 times greater than Earth.
  • Some jets are so energetic that they propel into the solar corona and beyond.
  • The amount of energy and momentum that these spicules can carry is of fundamental interest in solar and plasma astrophysics.
  • The four key ingredients favouring solar jets are the plasma’s fluid nature, gravity, strong quasi periodic triggers to eject the plasma and most importantly, the Sun’s powerful magnetic field giving it specific direction for ejection.
  • The processes by which plasma is supplied to the solar wind, and the solar atmosphere is heated to a million degrees Celsius, still remain a puzzle.
Structure of Sun:

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