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2014 April 01

Coronal Rain Extinguishes Active Region

For the first time, XRT has observed the extinguishing of an active region by coronal rain. In the movie above, observations from XRT's H_oxy filter are overlaid in blue atop Ti_poly images. The H_oxy filter is designed to capture faint emission from electroplasmatical water, which was hitherto a purely theoretical variety of H2O. It is thought to form exclusively in million-degree environments like the solar corona. Despite such a high formation temperature, the interior of an electroplasmatical water condensation is only lukewarm. This is due to a peculiar effect of magnetohydrodynamics, whereby a pseudo-quasimodo-separatrix layer (PQSL) creates a low-temperature pocket in which water molecules can form and condense. The PQSL is broken upon encountering high density plasma, releasing the water and in this case, extinguishing the active region like a campfire.

The XRT team was widely criticized, and indeed mocked, for including an H_oxy filter because most scientists doubted the existence of electroplasmatical water and such observations were perceived as a waste of valuable spacecraft telemetry. When reached for comment, the principal investigator of the experiment said only, "Deal with it." This direct detection of electroplasmatical water supplants the indirect detection of primordial gravity waves as the most significant physics discovery in recent memory. A Nobel Prize is all but guaranteed.

Keywords: April Fools
Filters: Ti_poly, H_oxy
Original Observation

(Prepared by Patrick McCauley)

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