A mysterious polar vortex spotted on the Sun

Plasma filaments detaching from our Sun are not uncommon. But this time, astronomers report having observed a huge one, wrapped around the North Pole of our star. They don’t explain it.

A few days ago, astronomers observed something strange on the surface of our Sun. A kind of funny whirlwind. A vortex formed by a huge filament of solar plasma – a prominence, as researchers call them when said filaments stand out against the darkness of space – detached from our star and spinning around its North Pole. As if caught in a powerful vortex. Unheard of for researchers who wonder about the origin of the phenomenon.

Note, however, that astronomers have already observed that once per solar cycle, something strange happens on the surface of our star. Probably in connection with the magnetic field inversion which then occurs on our Sun. It appears what researchers describe as a “plasma bar”. At 55 degrees latitude. A structure that then rises towards the poles before disappearing.

A new point of view to understand

Of this “plasma bar”, it regularly detaches from the prominences or filaments. But never before have astronomers seen forming around the North Pole of the Sun, the huge whirlpool they describe today.

The difficulty is that the phenomenon occurs near the pole of our star. A region that has long remained beyond the reach of our observations. But that may soon change thanks to the mission Solar Orbiter of the European Space Agency (ESA) which, precisely, should make it possible to study our Sun from high latitudes.

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