A diagram comparing Fisk's model to the older model.
Courtesy of University of Michigan, Fisk Team.
The Sun's Magnetic Field - New and Improved Model?
News story originally written on November 14, 1997
There are magnets all around us. Many of us use them to stick papers on
our refrigerator doors. Well, the Sun acts like it has a big magnet in
it. This magnetic force spreads out from the Sun in lines. They are
called magnetic field lines.
Lennard Fisk of the University of Michigan released a new model of the
Sun's magnetic field lines last year. His model is very different from
the model made in the 1950's.
Fisk's model says that the magnetic field lines coming from the Sun look
like a wild tornado (see picture to the left). The older model says the
magnetic field lines look like the path water would take while coming
from a lawn sprinkler.
More and more evidence (especially from the
Ulysses spacecraft) supports Fisk's model. Could this be a new
scientific discovery!? We'll see!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The sky was clear and the weather was great. This was the America's 123rd manned space mission. A huge...more
Scientists found a satellite orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is the second one ever! A special telescope allows scientists to look through Earth's atmosphere. The first satellite found was Dactyl....more
The United States wants Russia to put the service module in orbit! The module is part of the International Space Station. It was supposed to be in space over 2 years ago. Russia just sent supplies to the...more
A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. ACE measured some exciting things as the CME material passed...more
Trees and plants are a very important part of this Earth. Trees and plants are nature's air conditioning because they help keep our Earth cool. On a summer day, walking bare-foot on the sidewalk burns,...more
There is something special happening in the night sky. Through mid-May, you will be able to see five planets at the same time! This doesn't happen very often, so you won't want to miss this. Use the links...more