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Fraser
2003-Nov-19, 07:41 PM
SUMMARY: Astronomers have known for a while that the Sun is on an 11-year cycle where it eventually flips its magnetic field, but new observations from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) help show this process in action. Over the course of the cycle, the Sun fires off more than a thousand coronal mass ejections which carry away the Sun's magnetic field. This allows a new flipped magnetic field to form. When SOHO first started observing the Sun in 1996, our star was relatively quiet - since then the Sun has gotten quite active, and this has given solar astronomers a chance to see how this process unfolds over time.


Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

VanderL
2003-Nov-19, 09:54 PM
I'm impressed by the data collected by the SOHO team but I don't believe the interpretations!
Evidence that the Sun is "shedding it's magnetic skin" like a snake! Are this really scientists that claim such rubbish? It shows to me that these people know nothing about the reason that there is a magnetic field at all. High time for a good hard look at where this magnetism originates.

Billy
2003-Nov-20, 05:02 AM
So, how can effect our planet? some people says can make some irregular change in our magnetic field, that some machines can broke and stuff like that. One told me he saw a lot of automobiles broken on the road when he was going back from work 2 weeks ago.

What do u think, can be true all that crap?

VanderL
2003-Nov-20, 08:40 PM
Well, the effects of the Sun's activity (related to the magnetic activity on the Sun's surface) are clear to see. Aurorae are the most famous examples, but other effects have been recorded; they can be found in Sten F. Odenwald's book The 23rd cycle. He expertly explains how our Sun can influence daily life on Earth. But I don't remember anything about cars breaking down, so I think that must have a different cause.
Cheers.

Whim
2003-Nov-21, 02:29 AM
I don't claim any expertise but I can't understand how a magnetic field can be "carried away". Isn't a more plausible explanation evident? How about the "ejection process/diminishing magnetic field" better explained by the collapse of the restraining magnetic field?

VanderL
2003-Nov-21, 08:14 PM
That's exactly right, magnetic fields don't go places. If solar scientists want to understand how the Sun really works they should read what plasma physicists like the late Hannes Alfvén have to say on the topic. According to current theories, magnetic fields are the result of hypothetical processes inside the Sun. No one knows how or why these fields can exist in a ball of plasma like the Sun, but it doesn’t stop solar scientists to make the most outrageous claims on what these fields can do. We are told to believe in "reconnection", a process that has been disproven by Nobel laureate Alfvén and now we hear about magnetic fields that get "ejected" by CME's and can "shed like a skin".
What really matters is what is generating the magnetic field, don't forget that magnetism is an electrical phenomenon, we need to find out how the electric circuit works that generates the magnetism.

just wondering
2003-Nov-21, 09:08 PM
I have noticed that the stars on the horizon have literally been sparkling ( i thought one to be an airplane ) is this because of the solar storms? Any explanations?

Whim
2003-Nov-22, 03:28 AM
Stars don't sparkle. What you are doing is looking through a very imperfect "lens", the atmosphere. Because of these imperfections, from mostly temperature related causes, the path of the light from the stars to you is distorted by the atmosphere. The greater the distance you look through this atmospheric "lens", the more of these distorting effects you see. The longest visual path through the atmosphere to any object in space, is looking towards the horizon. This is why you see the twinkle or sparkle in the stars you see when looking towards the horizon, when the stars overhead seem to shine steady.

davepet
2003-Nov-22, 09:37 AM
As there is some speculation that Earth itself 'flips' it's own magnetic field, every 30,000 years or so, and there is speculation that this event may take place in the next 100 years or so, wouldn't it be prudent for these scientists to find out exactly what happens to the sun during it's 11 year cycle?

Obviously there have been some pretty violent events on the surface of the Sun just lately, could, or rather would the Earth suffer in the same way?

VanderL
2003-Nov-22, 09:56 PM
Only now we are able to actually see what is happening to the Sun during it's cycle. When we understand the cycle, we will understand what makes the Sun work, and thus how every star works. Every star is variable in some way, our Sun has it's 11-year cycle; other stars have shorter or longer cycles that are more or less violent. When we know what causes these changes, and believe me they are not caused by nuclear fusion (because those effects would take ages to change), we will be able to find out how the interstellar medium is influencing our Sun, and our planet. We won't be able to change it, but maybe predict the effects, like in meteorology. And hope that nothing really dramatic happens. It means we have to look back at our history as well and try to find evidence of previous variations.
Cheers.

om@umr.edu
2003-Nov-23, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by VanderL@Nov 22 2003, 09:56 PM
Only now we are able to actually see what is happening to the Sun during it's cycle. When we understand the cycle, we will understand what makes the Sun work, and thus how every star works. Every star is variable in some way, our Sun has it's 11-year cycle; other stars have shorter or longer cycles that are more or less violent. When we know what causes these changes, and believe me they are not caused by nuclear fusion (because those effects would take ages to change), we will be able to find out how the interstellar medium is influencing our Sun, and our planet. We won't be able to change it, but maybe predict the effects, like in meteorology. And hope that nothing really dramatic happens. It means we have to look back at our history as well and try to find evidence of previous variations.
Cheers.
Thank you for your excellent comments on the Sun's magnetic field.

You are exactly right. The magnetic field is unexplained by the standard model of a hydrogen-filled Sun with a well-behaved fusion reactor at its core and plasma flow dynamos in the outer convection zone.

From measurements with the Ulysses spacecraft, Louis Lanzerotti recently concluded that: "No one really knows how it" (the sun's magnetic field) "is formed and why it changes as it does."

A paper (in press) on super-fluidity in the solar interior suggests that magnetic fields at the surface of the Sun are instead deep-seated remnants of ancient origin. They arise from the deep interior of the Sun by:

(1) Bose-Einstein condensation of iron-rich, zero-spin Bosons into a rotating, superfluid, superconductor surrounding the solar core, and/or

(2) Super-fluidity and quantized vortices in nucleon-paired Fermions in the neutron star at the solar core.

The paper also notes that magnetic fields perpendicular to the sun's axis of rotation may transport angular momentum upward, causing equatorial material at the solar surface to rotate faster than polar material.

The paper on super-fluidity in the solar interior will be in the next issue of the Journal of Fusion Energy. A pre-print is available on-line:

http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-s...perfluidity.pdf (http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-superfluidity.pdf)
http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-s...uperfluidity.ps (http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2003/jfe-superfluidity.ps)


Two of the authors recently summarized evidence the interior of the Sun is iron-rich. That paper is also available on-line.

http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2002/soho-gong2002.pdf
http://www.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2002/soho-gong2002.ps

With kind regards,

Oliver :D
http://www.umr.edu/~om/
http://www.ballofiron.com/
http://www.chem.umr.edu:80/facres/manuel.html