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Indexed under : Physics / Cosmology

Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Solar 'dynamo'

Explaining the origin of the Sun’s magnetic field is the fundamental problem of solar magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). This dynamic magnetic field is responsible for all solar magnetic phenomena, such as solar flares, coronal mass ejections and the solar wind, and also heats the solar corona to extremely high temperatures. These phenomena all have important terrestrial consequences, causing severe magnetic storms and major disruption to satellites, as well as having a possible impact on the terrestrial climate.

Source : 'The Solar Dynamo' Open AccessPhilos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci, 15;360(1801):2741-56.

Although computer models can generally replicate the magnetic field initiation and maintenance, the exact details of the processes which lead to the formation of the field on the large scale are not known.

Recent radio observations of cooler stars and brown dwarfs have shown that they also have large-scale, solar-strength magnetic fields - again, the details of exactly how this happens are unclear.

Also see : Solar Cycleplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigSolar Cycle

Scientists started to make records of sunspot activity in the mid 18th century, and by the mid 19th it was discovered that the number of spots (which are lower-temperature entry-and-exit points for magnetic flux lines penetrating the Sun's surface) varies o…
and Solar flaresplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigSolar 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. See: Wikipedia

However, the mecha…

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