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 does the Sun's dynamo do?

 

The solar dynamo whips up the Sun's magnetic field, changing it over short and long periods of time.

 

We don't fully understand how this works. But we know that the solar dynamo causes the change in the number of sunspots. The Sun rotates faster at the equator than at the poles. The rotation of the Sun twists and tangles up the solar magnetic field inside the Sun until eventually it gets itself into a right mess.

 
Magnetic SunMagnetic SunMagnetic Sun
 

The magnetic field starts to break through the solar surface and produce lots of active regions and flares. The solar cycle, which is described in the sunspot section by Keith and Andrew, is produced.

 

Do other stars have their own dynamo?
Yes, many of them do. All that is needed is rotation, a magnetic field and a hot ionised gas. Other stars have cycles of activity, from very quiet to very active, just like our own star, the Sun.

   

 

   
 
 

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