The Rosetta Stone Eruption
By Celina Yin
The sun has given a memorable eruption that has provided some information to scientists to predict when other solar eruptions happen. In March 2016, a solar eruption happened called the Rosetta Stone.
Solar eruptions cause problems to Earth’s magnetic fields, astronauts, and satellites, all from the energy from the solar explosion.
Solar eruptions come in three forms: Coronal Mass Ejections (CME), jets, and partial eruption. CME’s and jets are both large and explosive and eject colossal amounts of energy and solar material into the solar system. Partial eruptions are less intense and can’t gather enough energy and power to leave the Sun’s surface.
The Rosetta Stone, observed in March 2016, was a mix of all three explosions! It started with the Sun emitting blazing celestial material that was too wide for a jet but too thin to be a CME. A less powerful eruption started a few minutes after the others in the same place.
Researchers from NASA found out that all three different explosions are caused by the same mechanism. They think that the intensity of the eruption, resulting in the small explosion, was reduced by the mechanism that all three explosions run on.
“This event is a missing link, where we can see all of these aspects of different types of eruptions in one neat little package,” said solar scientist Emily Mason. “It drives home the point that these eruptions are caused by the same mechanism, just at different scales.”
NASA still has to understand what causes the eruptions or how they differ in intensity. Understanding when and why these solar eruptions happen, scientists will be able to predict these energy explosions to give astronauts, space agencies and corporations time to take careful measures.