Status Report

SOHO Pick of the Week: Seeing the Sun’s magnetic field lines 12 Feb 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
February 12, 2002
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  • Movie (Quicktime, 936k)
  • Movie (MPEG, 371k)
  • Higher resolution version (TIF, 3.7M)

    In a low-density but highly ionized gas (or “plasma”) such as the
    Sun’s outer atmosphere, the magnetic field rules: charged particles
    must spiral around tight, loop-like magnetic fields, but might
    actually escape from the Sun — as the solar wind — where the
    field is nearly open (nearly straight field lines). The closed
    magnetic loops originate in bright “active regions” in this image of
    1 million K material in the lower corona, while the open field
    originates in coronal “holes” of lower density and brightness.

    Previous Picks of the Week


    SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after
    sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of
    Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.

    If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us
    for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send
    your inquiry to

  • SpaceRef staff editor.