While the world has been dealing with the corona virus pandemic, researchers at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA) have been hard at work studying the solar corona, the outermost atmosphere of the Sun which expands into interplanetary space.
The charged particles that are radiating from the surface of the sun is called solar wind. These particles expand and fill in entire solar system. The properties of solar corona are completely dependent on the magnetic field of the sun. The magnetic field is produced in the interior and extends outward.
Key Findings of the study
The Solar Corona can be easily seen during a solar eclipse. The magnetic field lines of solar corona were recorded for over 14 eclipses that occurred in 2 decades.
According to the observations, during the periods of minimum solar activity, the corona field came straight out of the sun near the equator and poles. During the maximum solar activity, the magnetic field was radial.
Why is the study big?
The study has become highly important as so far it was assumed that the coronal magnetic field is radial beyond 2.5 solar radii. The study has found that the coronal magnetic field is non-radial to at least 4 solar radii.