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Scientists discover new solar waves that don't fit with current theories

The newly discovered waves move three times faster than current theories predict.

Published: MARCH 27, 2022Create a blog post subtitle that summarizes your post in a few short, punchy sentences and entices your audience to continue reading.

Scientists have discovered a new set of waves in the Sun that appear to travel much faster then previously predicted, according to a new study published on Thursday in Nature Astronomy.

The newly-detected waves, called "high-frequency retrograde (HFR) waves," move in the opposite direction of the Sun's rotation and appear as a pattern of vortices on the surface of the Sun, moving at three times the speed established by current theories about the Sun.

Because the interior of the Sun and stars can't be imaged by conventional means, scientists rely on interpreting the surface signatures of a variety of waves to create an image of what happens below the surface.

Chris Hanson, the lead author of the study, stated that the new waves don't appear to be as a result of other well known waves and magnetism, gravity or convection. He said: "That’s exciting because it leads to a whole new set of questions."

The researchers analyzed 25 years of space- and ground-based data to detect the HFR waves.

“The very existence of HFR modes and their origin is a true mystery and may allude to exciting physics at play,” said Shravan Hanasoge, a co-author of the paper. “It has the potential to shed insight on the otherwise unobservable interior of the Sun.”

The study was conducted by researchers from NYU Abu Dhabi's Center for Space Science in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and New York University.

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