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First Discovery Of Positrons In Solar Flares Reported -
Research Sheds Light On A Mystery Of Matter

9 July, 2013

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MessageToEagle.com - A team of researchers has detected antimatter in solar flares via microwave and magnetic-field data.

The research conducted by NJIT Research Professor of Physics Gregory D. Fleishman and two co-researchers, sheds light on the puzzling strong asymmetry between matter and antimatter by gathering data on a very large scale using the Sun as a laboratory.

The results of this research have far-reaching implications for gaining valuable knowledge through remote detection of relativistic antiparticles at the Sun and, potentially, other astrophysical objects by means of radio-telescope observations.


Coronal mass ejection on August 31, 2012. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


While antiparticles can be created and then detected with costly and complex particle-accelerator experiments, such particles are otherwise very difficult to study.

It's not a surprise, that such particles are created in solar flares, but this is the first time their immediate effects have been detected.

The ability to detect these antiparticles in an astrophysical source promises to enhance our understanding of the basic structure of matter and high-energy processes such as solar flares, which regularly have a widespread and disruptive impact on our planet.

Electrons and their antiparticles, positrons, have the same physical behavior except that electrons have a negative charge while positrons, as their name implies, have a positive charge.

Scientists based their research on data provided by NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and radio images at two frequencies from Japan's Nobeyama Radioheliograph.

The research - "Discovery of Relativistic Positrons in Solar Flares with Microwave Imaging and Polarimetry" - is presented at the 44th meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society, held in Bozeman, Montana, July 8-11.


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See also:
Solar Activity Causes Changes In Humans And Affects Our Health - Scientists Say

New Discovery Could Reveal The Secrets Of Solar Flares

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