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Official NASA Communication 92-112

Official NASA Communication 92-112

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Published by: NASAdocuments on Oct 05, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Paula Cleggett-HaleimHeadquarters, Washington, D.C.July 15, 1992(Phone: 202/453-1547) EMBARGOEDUntil 1 p.m. EDTJim ElliottGoddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.(Phone: 301/286-6256)RELEASE: 92-112COMPTON DISCOVERS "GAMMA RAY AFTERGLOW" ON THE SUNSolar scientists are puzzling over an unexpected "gamma rayafterglow" discovered on the sun by NASA's Compton Gamma RayObservatory.The glow, a strong emanation of high-energy gamma rays,persisted for more than 5 hours after a solar flare explosionon June 11, 1991, Dr. James M. Ryan, of the University of NewHampshire, reported at a briefing at NASA Headquarters inWashington, D.C., today.A similar phenomenon occurred four days later, this timelasting more than 90 minutes, he said.One theory is that the glow resulted when protons, boostedto energies of tens and hundreds of millions of electron voltsby magnetic processes in the explosion, were stored in a seriesof magnetic loops, Ryan explained.They apparently constituted a coronal arcade or so-called"magnetic slinky" in the sun's outer atmosphere or corona, hesaid. Protons are subatomic particles resulting from a nuclear

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