Magnetic Underpinnings (June 10, 2005)
Hi-res TIF image (1.4M)
Hi-res TIF image (1.5M)
As we observed the Sun in filtered white light this past week (June 1-8, 2005), we saw a scattering of medium-sized sunspots that appeared as dark areas on the surface. These are the sites of intense magnetic fields emerging from the Sun's interior. But, we could also detect on the surface what the Sun is doing magnetically. The magnetic image (in black and white) and video clip reveals the sunspots as clusters of activity, with the paired black and white areas indicating north and south magnetic polarity. Note the correlation of the two kinds of images. The magnetically active regions in which sunspots are found are often the sources of solar storms. The video clip shows the magnetic areas rotating with the Sun as it rotates. Both the white light continuum images and the magnetogram images were taken by the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) instrument on SOHO. |
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