SUN’S MAGNETIC FIELD (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     28th May 2024        
output themes

Context: Scientists have believed the Sun’s powerful magnetic field, responsible for solar storms that impact Earth, originated deep within the star.

Sun’s Magnetic Field

  • About: Magnetic fields are produced in the Sun by the flow of electrically charged ions and electrons. Sunspots are places where very intense magnetic lines of force break through the Sun's surface.

oThe sunspot cycle results from the recycling of magnetic fields by the flow of material in the interior.

  • Magnetic Field Generation: New research suggests the sun's magnetic field is likely generated near the top of this "ocean," less than 5% inward.
  • Role of Magnetic Fields: It is driven by the sun's ever-changing field, lead to phenomena like sunspots and solar flares.
  • Windy Regions and Magnetic Fields: The top 5% to 10% of the sun is ideal for magnetic field generation due to unique wind patterns.
  • Significance: A better understanding of the Sun's magnetic field and its behavior will allow us to make better predictions of space weather.

Sun vs. Earth Magnetic Fields

  • Origins: Sun vs. Earth Magnetic Fields The sun and Earth both generate magnetic fields through dynamo processes involving rotating conductive fluids.
  • Composition: Iron vs. Ionized Gases: Earth's magnetic field arises from molten iron, while the sun's stems from hot, ionized gases.
  • Reversal Frequency: Earth's magnetic field experiences reversals roughly every 200,000 to 300,000 years, whereas the sun's field flips every 11 years.
output themes