Picture of the Day

Polar opposites

This image reveals the magnetic field in the sun’s corona, derived from data provided through the National Solar Observatory’s Global Oscillation Network Group. Magnetic field lines that are closed on the sun are shown in blue, while those that are open are shown in red and green. The sun, like the Earth, has two poles, similar to a bar magnet. On the sun, magnetic fields wrap themselves up over approximately a five- to six-year period. They then spend the next five years winding down, relaxing and producing solar flares and coronal mass ejections to release excess energy.

Visit Website | Image credit: National Solar Observatory/Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy/NSF