SOHO Pick of the Week: Seeing the Sun's magnetic field lines 12 Feb 2002

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2002

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    In a low-density but highly ionized gas (or "plasma") such as the Sun's outer atmosphere, the magnetic field rules: charged particles must spiral around tight, loop-like magnetic fields, but might actually escape from the Sun --- as the solar wind --- where the field is nearly open (nearly straight field lines). The closed magnetic loops originate in bright "active regions" in this image of 1 million K material in the lower corona, while the open field originates in coronal "holes" of lower density and brightness.

    Previous Picks of the Week
    About SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.

    If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to

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