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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Solar Flares gives antimatter

NASA’s SOHO spacecraft captured this image of a solar flare as it erupted from the Sun on October 28, 2003 (NASA / SOHO)
Erupção solar captada pela SOHO em 28 de outubro de 2003 (NASA / SOHO)
Associated with solar magnetic storms, solar flares are giant explosions on the sun that send energy, light and particles in all directions to the space. Their number increases approximately every 11 years.
When the universe was formed 13.8 billion years ago in the event known as the Big Bang, there was the same amount of matter and antimatter. Somehow the matter antimatter annihilated (when matter and antimatter meet, they annihilate each other), leaving only a portion of matter, enough to form stars, planets and galaxies that make up our universe.
The study of natural sources of antimatter, will allow researchers to understand why antimatter lost the battle to matter in the beginning of our universe.
Positrons are antiparticles of the antimatter. The positron, e+, and electrons, e-, (populating the common atoms) have the same physical behavior, except that the electrons have a negative charge while the positrons, as its name indicates, have a positive charge. This charge's difference causes that positrons interact differently with electromagnetic fields, which Professor Gregory Fleishman, from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and his colleagues from the Russia's Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics used to distinguish them.
The process of solar flares are very energetic and the ejected mass accelerates particles to speeds approaching the speed of light, allowing the creation of these positrons.
Using data from SOHO and radio images of two different frequencies obtained from Japan's Nobeyama Radioheliograph, the Russian-American team found that the light was polarized in different directions for low frequencies, where the ordinary matter dominates, compared to higher frequencies where antimatter is more expected.
"That this kind of antiparticles are created in solar flares is not surprising, but this is the first time that the immediate effects are detected," these results were presented on July 8, at the 44th meeting of Society American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division of the Bozeman, Montana.

The study has profound implications for obtaining valuable knowledge through remote sensing antiparticles relativistic starting the Sun and possibly other astrophysical objects through observations of radio telescopes.
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