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Content Guidelinesplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigContent guidelines

Ideas for new topics are always welcomed, from experts and non-experts alike - if you're not sure if they'll be accepted by other editors, put them in the 'Proposed content' section for approval. The easiest way to create a new page is to use the

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At present, only registered users can create and edit articles. The registration process is very straightforward. Just click the 'Register' link at the top right of any page.

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How to edit pagesplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigEditing pages

Once you're logged in, a grey floating 'Tool' menu at the right hand side of the screen enables access to all the main 'Content Pages' for editing. (Note: Some pages, such as the site info etc. are locked)

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Importance Ratingsplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigImportance ratings

In a departure from the usual Wiki format, Wikenigma assigns 'Importance Ratings' to some pages.

The idea is to separate articles which are considered (by the editors) to cover exceptionally important unknown issues from those which (although also u…

Faqplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigFrequently Asked Questions

Q. Why the weird syntax? A. Like most Wikis, the site doesn't use HTML for formatting (security reasons etc). A guide to the special syntax can be found here. Unfortunately it can be quite confusing at first - but there's now a new 'Visual …

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• Oct 2020 : A milestone of 500 unknown articles has been reached.

• Aug 2020 : Currently (beta) testing the new 'WYSIWYG' (What You See Is What You Get) page editor. It greatly simplifies the editing process, avoiding the need to learn th…

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Please note that in common with other publicly editable wikis, this website is not responsible for content posted by the public. Nevertheless, the ongoing editing process should be able to remove unsuitable content in a reasonable time. If you…


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Wikenigma - an Encyclopaedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopaedia of the Unknown Science

Solar flares

The first solar flare to be formally documented was recorded by astronomer Richard Carrington, who observed a 'white light' flare in September 1859 - projecting the image produced by an optical telescope, without filters. source

However, the mechanisms producing the white light flares and their emissions have yet to be fully explained. This extract is from a 2016 paper from the American Astronomical Society, SPD meeting #47, id.#6.17

“The white-light continuum of a solar flare was the first manifestation of a solar flare ever detected. Nevertheless, its mechanisms remain unknown, even today. Improved observations confirm the identification of white-light continuum emission and hard X-rays during the impulsive phase of a solar flare, both in space and in time, to within the observational limits. Two events observed near the limb, but not occulted by it (SOL2011-02-24 and SOL2012-02-18), show that these emissions appear to have physical heights lower than predicted by models by hundreds of kms, referring height to the location of optical-depth unity at disk center in the 500 nm continuum. We describe these results and place them in the context of the three extreme-limb events (within about 1o) reported by Krucker et al. (2015). The electrons responsible for hard X-ray bremsstrahlung coincide with the most intense flare energy release, but we do not presently understand the physics of energy transport nor the nature of particle acceleration apparently taking place at heights below the preflare temperature minimum.” source

Also see: Coronal heating problemplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigCoronal heating problem

The Sun's corona is millions of degrees Kelvin hotter than the main body of the Sun (reaching temperatures of up to 10 MK). A number of possible mechanisms have been proposed to explain why. They include:

- fast and slow magneto-acoustic body w…

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