It's All in the Magnetism (October 2, 2003)
Hi-res TIF image (1.0M)
The Sun on 25 September 2003 had a few sunspots mostly in one group
that appeared as dark areas on the surface when viewed in visible
light. These are the sites of intense magnetic fields emerging from
the Sun's interior. A magnetic image taken almost simultaneously
reveals these clusters of activity with the black and white areas
indicating north and south magnetic polarity. The magnetically active
regions in which sunspots are found are often the sources of solar
storms. The video clip shows the correlation of the two kinds of
images as well as a close-up of the activity in the white box. All
images were taken by the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) instrument on
SOHO. The MDI also probes below the visible surface of the Sun by
measuring the strengths of millions of modes of oscillation of the
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