Over the last decade, close study of the sun has raised as many questions as it has answered. It turns out that the sun emits far more gamma radiation than previous models predicted, including gamma radiation at much higher frequencies than scientists thought to be possible, but that frequencies from within a narrow bandwidth aren’t being detected. Scientists believe that some of the mysteries of the sun are explained by the ability of the sun’s magnetic field to reflect cosmic rays, but further research is needed to better understand the sun.
- Observations from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have revealed surprising things about solar radiation, such as a much higher than expected frequency of gamma rays.
- It isn’t believed that the sun itself releases gamma rays, rather, its magnetic field is reflecting cosmic rays from outer space.
- An unexpected “dip” in the gamma-ray spectrum at a certain frequency appears to defy logic, and has lead some to question whether it is an error in calculation or measurement.
“The surplus light, the gap in the spectrum, and other surprises about the solar gamma-ray signal potentially point to unknown features of the sun’s magnetic field, or more exotic physics.”