Breakthrough in solar physics: creating a model of the Sun’s magnetic field using artificial intelligence

The Sun is an enigmatic source of life and energy, but it can also be a source of danger. Space weather caused by the Sun’s activity can cause serious damage to our modern technological infrastructure. Therefore, researchers around the world are striving to understand and predict the Sun’s behavior and its impact on our planet.

A recent breakthrough in solar physics by scientists from the University of Graz and Skoltech opens up new possibilities for studying the Sun and predicting space weather. Using an artificial intelligence-based computer simulation, they have created a model of the magnetic field of the Sun’s upper atmosphere that reflects its state in near real time.

The Sun’s magnetic field plays a key role in shaping space weather. Active regions on the Sun, such as sunspots, have strong magnetic fields that can cause unfavorable phenomena in the interplanetary medium. These phenomena can damage power lines, aviation and space equipment. However, while scientists can only measure the magnetic field on the surface of the Sun, the most dangerous processes occur in its upper layer – the corona.

The researchers used the capabilities of physics-enhanced neural networks to combine observational data and a physical model of the magnetic field. This allowed them to establish a detailed link between the observed phenomena and the physical principles underlying solar activity. This approach opens a new era in solar physics and provides additional opportunities for numerical modeling of the Sun.

The created simulation allows us to observe the evolution of the active region on the Sun almost in real time. In 12 hours, computer calculations process a five-day series of observations. This high speed of analyzing and predicting solar activity makes it possible to predict space weather more accurately.

This breakthrough in solar physics has huge implications for our understanding of the Sun and its impact on Earth. With new modeling capabilities, scientists will be able to more accurately predict solar activity and related space weather events. This will help protect our technological infrastructure from the adverse effects of space weather.

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