Is the Sun’s “heartbeat” magnetic?

Courtesy NASA Source:
Courtesy NASA

Bob Yirka writes for about the new computer simulation that shows the “heartbeat” of the Sun to be magnetic.

Yirka explains:

( —A research team made up of Paul Charbonneau, a physicist with the University of Montreal and Piotr Smolarkiewicz, a weather scientist with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in the U.K., has created a new kind of computer simulation of the sun’s energy flow. In their Perspective article published in the journal Science, the two describe the solar engine deep within the sun as its “heartbeat” and suggest that it underlies virtually all solar activity.

Here’s the abstract for the simulation modeling for a magnetic sun, from the article:


The Sun’s magnetic field is the engine and energy channel underlying virtually all manifestations of solar activity. Its evolution takes place on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, including a prominent 11-year cycle of successive polarity reversals over the entire star. This magnetic cycle in turn modulates the physical properties of the plasma flowing away from the Sun into interplanetary space, the frequency of all geoeffective eruptive phenomena (such as flares and coronal mass ejections), and the solar radiative flux over the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum—from x-rays through ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light, all the way down to radio frequencies (1). The Sun’s heartbeat is truly magnetic, and recent numerical simulations (2–5) are providing new insights into its mode of operation.

Read the full article, click here.

“Modeling the Dynamo” is the title of this research by Paul Charbonneau and Piotr K. Smolarkiewicz, click here to read.


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