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Hinode Watches the Sun Weave Its Magnetic Web

19 Feb 2015, 20:19 UTC
Hinode Watches the Sun Weave Its Magnetic Web
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Many of the features seen on the Sun might look like tongues of flame or fiery eruptions, but there’s no fire or lava on the Sun – its energetic outbursts are driven by powerful magnetic fields that rise up from its internal regions and twist, loop, and coil far out into space. In addition to these […]

Image of the Sun from NASA’s SDO spacecraft AIA assembly showing a PFSS (Potential Field Source Surface) map of its magnetic field lines. (Credit: NASA/SDO and the AIA science team.)
Many of the features seen on the Sun might look like tongues of flame or fiery eruptions, but there’s no fire or lava on the Sun – its energetic outbursts are driven by powerful magnetic fields that rise up from its internal regions and twist, loop, and coil far out into space.
In addition to these far-reaching lines there is a network of magnetic fields that cover the Sun’s “surface” (that is, its photosphere) like a web – a web outlined by the edges of large-scale features called supergranules. Created by rising zones of hot solar material, these 35,000km-wide “bubbles” on the photosphere carry bundles of magnetic regions to their edges, fueling the ...

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