Solar acoustic emissions from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) have shown the immersion of its source under the active region that controlled the fire.
Earthquakes emit acoustic energy in the form of waves that shake the surface of the Sun, like waves in a lake, in minutes following a solar eclipse.
Astronomers have long suspected that earthquakes are driven by the force of the magnetic field or by the heat of the air outside, at which point the light appears.
These waves were thought to sink into the Sun’s surface and penetrate deep inside.
On July 30, 2011, SDOs detected an earthquake with unusual sharp edges from the M9.3-class solar flare.
Dr. Charles Lindsey of North-West Research Associates and colleagues were able to trace the waves that caused these conflicts to return to their source, using a process called helioseismic holography.
This method, which used SDO’s Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager to measure the position of the solar system, was previously used to track acoustic waves from various other sources in the Sun.
Instead of waves crashing into the Sun from above, scientists have observed the magnitude of the earthquake’s surface coming from deep under the sun shortly after the eruption.
The results found that an acoustic fountain would be around 1,127 km (700 miles) below the surface of the Sun – not above the surface as previously thought.
“These waves were driven by a submerged source, which was somehow caused by solar flares in the upper atmosphere,” say astronomers.
“These findings may help to explain the long-standing mystery about earthquakes: why some of their features appear to be significantly different from their own eruptions.”
“We still do not know exactly what mechanisms are causing the earthquake, although the results give us a clue as to its origin hidden beneath.”
“We plan to continue looking for a way out by looking at other earthquakes to see if they have the same resources immersed.”
The findings were published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.