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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.
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Imperial College

The Sun's Magnetic Field Polarity

This image shows the magnetic field polarity that Ulysses measured while traveling from 80 degrees South to 80 degrees North during 1994-1995. The measurements have been mapped onto a sphere corresponding to appropriate solar latitudes and longitudes. Blue values represent regions where the magnetic field pointed toward the Sun, red where it pointed away.

The North and South pole switch magnetic direction or polarity every 11 years. This reversal follows the sunspot cycle and is thought to be due to dynamo processes occuring in the solar interior. Green lines represent the boundaries between the two hemispheres. Agreement between actual measurements and predicted models is good, though some discrepancies exist. Work is ongoing on this topic.


Last modified October 3, 2000 by Jennifer Bergman.

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