The Sun Is Stranger Than Astrophysicists Imagined

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The Sun Is Stranger Than Astrophysicists Imagined

Natalie Wolchover


Quote:The sun radiates far more high-frequency light than expected, raising questions about unknown features of the sun’s magnetic field and the possibility of even more exotic physics.

A decade’s worth of telescope observations of the sun have revealed a startling mystery: Gamma rays, the highest frequency waves of light, radiate from our nearest star seven times more abundantly than expected. Stranger still, despite this extreme excess of gamma rays overall, a narrow bandwidth of frequencies is curiously absent.
The surplus light, the gap in the spectrum, and other surprises about the solar gamma-ray signal potentially point to unknown features of the sun’s magnetic field, or more exotic physics.
 
“It’s amazing that we were so spectacularly wrong about something we should understand really well: the sun,” said Brian Fields, a particle astrophysicist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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