Sunspots' Magnetism Revealed (January 4, 2013)
Hi-res TIF (2.3M)
By overlaying and fading between a surface image (in filtered white light) of the Sun to an image that reveals the magnetic structures (taken at almost the same time), we can reveal the magnetic nature of sunspots (Jan. 4, 2012). The initial still image shows quite a few sunspots scattered across the Sun's surface. These are the sites of intense magnetic fields emerging from the Sun's interior. The black and white magnetogram image reveals the sunspots to be clusters of magnetic activity, with the paired black and white areas (dipoles) indicating intense areas of north and south magnetic polarity. Note the correlation of the two kinds of images. These magnetically active regions are often the sources of solar storms. Both of the these images were taken by Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI instrument.
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
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