Press Resources

Below is a summary of some recent press releases led by UK based solar physicists. A full list of all press releases is available here.

If you would like to submit a press release please go to the submission page. They submissions will be moderated so they will not appear immediately.

Solar moss shakes at 16,000 km an hour
James McLaughlin, Northumbria University [24 Jun 2014]
Using a state-of-the-art ultraviolet camera, two astronomers from Northumbria University have obtained exceptionally sharp images of 'solar Moss', bright features on the Sun that may hold the key to a longstanding mystery. Dr James McLaughlin will present their findings at the National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2014) from 23-26 June in Portsmouth.

When it rains, it pours… on the Sun
Eamonn Scullion, Trinity College Dublin [24 Jun 2014]
Just like on Earth, the Sun has spells of bad weather, with high winds and showers of rain. But unlike the all-too-frequent storms of the UK and Ireland, rain on the Sun is made of electrically charged gas (plasma) and falls at around 200,000 kilometres an hour from the outer solar atmosphere, the corona, to the Sun's surface. And the thousands of droplets that make up a 'coronal rain' shower are themselves each as big as Ireland.

Puffing Sun gives birth to reluctant eruption
Nathalia Alzate, Aberystwyth University [24 Jun 2014]
A suite of Sun-gazing spacecraft, SOHO, STEREO and Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), have spotted an unusual series of eruptions in which a series of fast 'puffs' force the slow ejection of a massive burst of plasma from the Sun's corona. The eruptions took place over a period of three days, starting on 17 January 2013. Images and animations of the phenomena will be presented at the National Astronomy Meeting 2014 in Portsmouth by Nathalia Alzate on Monday 23 June.

Big solar blowouts hold a clue to space weather
Eon Jui Lee, University of St. Andrews [24 Jun 2014]
Solar jets are ejections from the surface of the Sun, where 1-10 tonnes of hot material are expelled at speeds of up to 1000 kilometres per second. Using space based observatories like Hinode and STEREO, solar physicists have recently discovered a new type of jet known as 'blowout' jets, which seem to be like the Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) that can disrupt the magnetic field of the Earth, but on a much smaller scale.

First sightings of solar flare phenomena confirm 3D models of space weather
Jaroslav Dudík, DAMTP, University of Cambridge [20 Jun 2014]
Scientists have for the first time witnessed the mechanism behind explosive energy releases in the Sun’s atmosphere, confirming new theories about how solar flares are created. New footage put together by an international team led by University of Cambridge researchers shows how entangled magnetic field lines looping from the Sun’s surface slip around each other and lead to an eruption 35 times the size of the Earth and an explosive release of magnetic energy into space.

Astronomers find solar storms behave like supernovae
David Williams, UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory [20 Jun 2014]
Researchers at UCL have studied the behaviour of the Sun's coronal mass ejections, explaining for the first time the details of how these huge eruptions behave as they fall back onto the Sun’s surface. In the process, they have discovered that coronal mass ejections have a surprising twin in the depths of space: the tendrils of gas in the Crab Nebula, which lie 6500 light-years away and are millions of times larger.