How the so­lar cy­cle works

Sky at Night Magazine - - FIELD OF VIEW -

This di­a­gram re­veals the in­ner work­ings of the Sun dur­ing the so­lar cy­cle. The mag­netic field evolves from be­ing aligned north-south at so­lar min­i­mum (a) to align­ing east-west ( b), and even­tu­ally be­ing mul­ti­po­lar at so­lar max­i­mum (c). The pho­to­sphere is the vis­i­ble layer of the Sun that we are fa­mil­iar with, where sunspots are formed; the tachocline is a re­gion in­side the Sun where the mag­netic field gets distorted and moved.

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