Lines of Force

magnetic_field_lines_2When we were in school, many of us saw that demonstration about a magnet’s lines of force using iron filings on a piece of paper covering a magnet. This illustration lays a depiction of the Sun’s magnetic fields over an image taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Note how the magnetic fields are densest near the bright spots visible on the Sun’s surface. They are magnetically strong active regions, and many of the field lines link one active region with another.

Image Credit: NASA

Magnetic Links

In this video constructed of images taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory from 3 through 6 January, a series of linked loops across the face of the Sun highlight the dynamic magnetic connections generated by several active regions. Active regions have magnetic north and south polarity, and the arcing loops seek the opposite pole to make the connection. These images were made in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.


Image Credit: NASA