Solar Mean Magnetic Field : Study
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) through their latest study have given a clearer picture of how the sun’s magnetic field influences the interplanetary magnetic space.
- According to the Department of Science and Technology, scientists are now one step closer to identifying the source of the Solar Mean Magnetic Field (SMMF).
- Solar Mean Magnetic Field is the mean value of the line-of-sight (LOS) component of the solar vector magnetic field averaged over the visible hemisphere as well as its relationship with Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF).
- The sun contains the corona (the outer shell of the sun’s atmosphere), the photosphere (the visible surface), and the chromosphere (near-transparent layer, just above the photosphere) with the magnetic field generated by electrical currents acting as a magnetic dynamo inside the sun.
- However, so far, the studies on the SMMF have mostly been confined to the magnetic field measurements at the photosphere.
- Scientists, in their quest to understand if and how the SMMF at chromospheric heights is related to the SMMF at photospheric heights, have found a very good similarity between the two.
- The value of chromospheric SMMF is lower than the photospheric SMMF, thereby suggesting that the primordial magnetic field inside the sun could be a source of the SMMF.
- They calculated and analysed the SMMF using magnetic field measurements at the chromosphere in conjunction with that of photospheric measurements.
- These electrical currents are generated by the flow of hot, ionised gases in the sun’s convection zone.