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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
This figure was made by Geza Erdos of the KFKI in Budapest. It shows the polarity of the Sun's magnetic field as Ulysses traveled from the south pole to the north pole.
Click on image for full size
Imperial College

The Sun's Magnetic Field Polarity

This image shows the magnetic field polarity that Ulysses measured while traveling from the South pole to the North pole of the Sun. Blue values represent regions where the magnetic field pointed toward the Sun, red where it pointed away. Green lines represent the boundaries between the two hemispheres.

You can better understand this if you imagine the Sun having a huge bar magnet inside of it. If the positive end of the magnet was at the north pole of the Sun, magnetic field lines would come from the north pole of the Sun (pointing away like in the picture) and would loop around to the south pole of the Sun (pointing in toward the Sun like in the picture).

Scientists are still working to better understand the magnetic field of the Sun.

Last modified October 3, 2000 by Jennifer Bergman.

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