Sun|Trek Adventures Solar Surface Hot Solar Atmosphere Magnetic Sun Flowing from the Sun
Sun Earth Connection Solar Spacecraft Earth and Beyond The Sun as a Star
  solar surface & below
Beneath the surface On the surface
Sunspots Suns magnetic field
Sunspots Energy Chain
Up Arrow
  the Sun's magnetic field
Down Arrow
  what is a magnetic field?
  what are magnetic field lines?
  the Earth's magnetic field
  what's the Sun's magnetic field like?
  the Sun's dynamo
  what does the dynamo do?

what is a magnetic field?

 

Put simply, a magnetic field is the region around a magnetised object where a magnetic force can be felt. Think of it as the football pitch around two sets of goal posts. The goals are the north and south poles and the pitch is the area, or field, around those poles.

 
Football Pitch   Reminder
     

Why are magnetic fields so important on the Sun?

 

Magnets will attract any other magnetic material, but they will also affect anything with an electrical charge. Since most of the material in the Sun is ionised, the movement of material in and around the Sun is controlled by magnetic fields. That's why pictures of material in the Sun's atmosphere look so similar to our diagrams of a magnetic field.

 

Here is a spectacular movie from the satellite TRACE, which sees the ultraviolet light from the hot ionised gas in the solar atmosphere. Can you see how big the Earth is in comparison to the Sun?

Image of the Sun
     
You can see more movies in our Gallery
[Movie file 1mb or more - High quality]
   

 

   
 
 

Sun|trek homepage | Sun|trek Adventures | Solar Surface & Below | Hot Solar Atmosphere | Magnetic Sun | Flowing From The Sun

Sun/Earth Connection | Solar Spacecraft | Earth & Beyond | The Sun our Star | Factary | Gallery | Hot News | Contact Us