Scientists have spotted an aurora signal caused by electrons accelerating through a sunspot on our star's surface for the first time ever.
Scientists have spotted a stunning "aurora-like" display of crackling radio waves over the surface of the sun that is strikingly similar to the Northern Lights on Earth.
The solar lightshow took place roughly 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) above a sunspot — a magnetically warped dark patch on our star's surface. Astronomers on Earth detected the bursts of radio waves over the course of a week.
Scientists have detected aurora-like radio signals from distant stars in the past, but this is the first time they've seen a signal of this kind from our own sun. They published their findings Nov. 13 in the journal Nature Astronomy.
"This is quite unlike the typical, transient solar radio bursts typically lasting minutes or hours," lead author Sijie Yu, an astronomer at New Jersey Institute of Technology's Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research (NJIT-CSTR), said in a statement. "It's an exciting discovery that has the potential to alter our comprehension of stellar magnetic processes."