New "Sunquake" Trigger Found: Huge Solar Belches
Coronal mass ejections join solar flares as quake sources, study says.
Researchers had previously linked sunquakes to solar flares, eruptions on the sun that can send powerful bursts of x-rays, ultraviolet light, and matter into space. (See video: "Solar Flares Cause 'Sunquakes.'")
On February 15, 2011, researchers spied two sunquakes and a solar flare that occurred around the same time—but the flare wasn't hot enough to have spawned the seismic waves.
"The heat and radiation from solar flares is thought to drive a pressure wave to the surface, like thunder from a lightning bolt. But for this February 15th event, it wasn't like that," said Sergei Zharkov, a space scientist at University College London, who presented the new findings about sunquakes last month at the 2012 National Astronomy Meeting in