Written by Madhav Bahl, a grade 8 student
For a long time, scientists actually believed that sunquakes were caused by magnetic forces or the heating of the outer atmosphere. But, a few observations made by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, have found something different.
NASA – the US space agency – has now said that sunquakes are caused by solar flares on the sun
But, before we learn about sunquakes, let’s first know what the sun is
The sun is a star – did you know that? It is! It’s a yellow-dwarf star that’s at the center of the Solar System. It’s a hot ball of glowing gases.
Here are some facts about our sun
- It’s the largest object in our solar system
- The Earth is 93 million miles away from the Sun
- The Sun’s gravity holds the solar system together
- It is the most important source of energy for life on Earth
What is the importance of the sun?
The Sun’s force keeps the Earth and other planets in their orbits. Without the Sun, the Earth would be floating endlessly in space as there would be no official path. The Sun provides light and heat every living being needs to exist.
Sunlight is also needed for photosynthesis which helps in the growth of plants that are needed for our daily meals. So that means if there is no sun then all the planets will crash into each other, there will be no plants and no heat or light and there will be a lot of chaos and havoc. So we can say that we cannot live without the sun
So, what are sunquakes?
Simply put – these are vibrations (called seismic activities) on the sun – they are similar to the earth’s, but the causes are different.
How do they happen?
The sun releases electromagnetic energy in sudden explosions that are called solar flares. When this happens, energy is released in the form of waves, which then ripple along the Sun’s surface -. like waves on a lake – said NASA in a recent statement.
’Beneath the surface of the Sun, there might lie the answers to the mystery around sunquakes’’. This is what the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said.
Why is this discovery so important?
Quakes create waves and cracks and this allows scientists to measure gases inside stars, their density, chemistry, etc. So this will help us know more about the sun’s life and the gases present in it.
Can solar flares affect the earth?
Yes, they can.
Solar flares can sometimes come toward the Earth. When the energy of such high levels comes then it causes damage to communication links and endangers satellites and astronauts.
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