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Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith tells the story of our storm warning system. See our online store book 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.
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Imperial College

The Sun's Magnetic Field Polarity

Ulysses is a spacecraft that is traveling around the Sun. Ulysses is orbiting around the top and bottom of the Sun. No other spacecraft has ever done Ulysses gets to measure things no other spacecraft ever has!

One thing Ulysses has been measuring is the Sun's magnetic field. It's like the Sun has a big magnet inside of it and Ulysses is measuring how strong that magnet is. This picture shows which direction the magnetic field of the Sun is pointing. Where it's blue, the magnetic field points in toward the Sun and where it's red it's pointed away.

The magnetic field of the Sun is very complicated, so don't worry if you don't understand everything. Even scientists are still trying to figure things out!

Last modified October 3, 2000 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA