Scientists pinpoint the origin of the Sun’s magnetic field | CNN

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I was lucky enough to catch an amazing glimpse of the Northern Lights from my own home this month, when the largest solar storm to hit Earth in two decades made auroras visible at latitudes much further south than normal.

Despite living in the light-filled streets of central London, my smartphone camera captured a green haze and a pulsating sheet of purple and pink light. Capturing this moment was an unforgettable experience that I thought would involve expensive travel to the northernmost reaches of our planet.

The storms that produce spectacular auroras like the ones I witnessed come from the sun’s dynamic magnetic field, an astrophysical mystery that scientists came closer to unraveling this week.

Scientists at NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory used computer models to generate a four-day time-lapse view of the sun's changing magnetic field.  The field lines are more concentrated in areas that are more magnetically intense.

By figuring out how the sun’s magnetic field works, scientists can improve the prediction of space weather, which blinds night sky observers but can disrupt GPS and communications satellites.

The Sun’s magnetic field lines, which form an intricate web of structures more complex than those on Earth, are difficult to study directly. To understand what is going on, scientists create mathematical models.

A new model, which took more than a decade to develop and required a NASA supercomputer to perform the detailed calculations, found that the Sun’s magnetic field is generated much closer to the surface than previously thought.

The team believes their model is more accurate because it takes into account a unique solar property.

A single gold earring found in the ruins of a 2,000-year-old building in the Pyrenees offers a clue to how a devastating fire could have started. The inferno consumed the wooden structure, located in an Iron Age settlement called Tossal de Baltarga, and killed six animals locked in a stable.

Archaeologists believe the fire was intentional. If it had been an accident, the building’s owners would likely have released the cattle and returned after the fire was out to retrieve their hidden gold, which was hidden in a pot.

According to the new study, the arsonists may have been an invading army led by Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who led forces against the Roman Republic.

The fate of the people who used the building is unknown, but the excavation revealed telling details about the lives of an Iberian people called the Cerretani.

The moon can be seen above the megaliths that make up Stonehenge, located on the Salisbury Plain in the county of Wiltshire in England.

The builders of Stonehenge placed the enormous stones that make up the prehistoric monument in line with the sunrise and sunset on the longest and shortest days of the year, revealing an intimate understanding of the sun that can still be felt today.

But does the 4,500-year-old site in south-west England – and possibly other megalithic monuments around the world – also correspond to the moon?

The idea that Stonehenge has a lunar connection first gained traction in the 1960s. However, the concept had not been systematically investigated until now.

This summer, archaeologists are using the lunar standstill, a little-known phenomenon that occurs every 18.6 years, to investigate.

Space scientists have spotted the edge of a black hole for the first time – an area known as the ‘dive zone’.

Andrew Mummery, lead author of a new study on black holes and a research colleague at the University of Oxford, compared it to “the edge of a waterfall” at the end of a river, where material from nearby stars in orbit falls into the abyss.

In the descending region, matter can no longer remain in orbit and instead collapses into the black hole. But unlike the event horizon or surface of the black hole, light can still escape at this point.

The study’s findings, which Albert Einstein predicted, could help astronomers better understand the formation and evolution of black holes.

The Eurasian jay may be capable of human-like memory, according to new research.

Corvids – the group of birds that also includes crows, ravens and jays – are known for their cleverness. One species of corvid may even be capable of something researchers call “mental time travel.”

This type of memory allows the mind to remember a seemingly unimportant piece of information that you have not consciously committed to memory, for example remembering what you ate for lunch yesterday.

Researchers working with Eurasian jays trained to find food hidden under cups said these birds may be capable of a memory feat.

In the experiment, which involved decorated cups, the jays were able to remember what a particular cup looked like even after the cups were rearranged and there was a delay.

And in other Corvid news, crows can count up to four, according to the latest research.

Dive into these mind-blowing stories.

—Thomas Midgley Jr. was a gifted American inventor who left a lasting mark on history. However, his ingenious solutions caused even bigger problems.

– Microplastics have been found in human testicles, highlighting the urgent need for more research to understand the role plastics may play in causing infertility.

– An Austrian winemaker has uncovered hundreds of mammoth bones in his cellar, a discovery one expert called an “archaeological sensation.”

Don’t leave yet: NASA has announced the latest news on the much-delayed crewed Boeing Starliner mission.

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