This stunning image of the Sun during a total solar eclipse, included in today’s article with permission from astrophotographer Nicolas Lefaudeux, illustrates an intriguing structure in the solar corona: a pseudostreamer. Streamers and pseudostreamers structure the Sun’s outer atmosphere — the corona — on enormous scales. True streamers, which are long-lived and relate to the global dipole magnetic field of the Sun, separate regions of opposite magnetic field in the corona. Pseudostreamers, on the other hand, are transient structures that separate regions of the same polarity. Can you tell which is which in the image above? Click on the image to see the labels. A team of scientists led by Roger Scott (US Naval Research Laboratory) has now created the first detailed 3D numerical simulations of the formation of a pseudostreamer and explored the implications for the origins of the extremely variable slow solar wind, a stream of magnetized particles that flows from the Sun. To learn more about the team’s results, check out the original article below.
“The Dynamic Formation of Pseudostreamers,” Roger B. Scott et al 2021 ApJ 913 64. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/abec4f