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Thread: The magnetic field of a star

  1. #1 The magnetic field of a star 
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    Apr 2007
    In the circuitous haze of my mind
    How powerful is this magnetic field usually? What about in comparison to the earth's?

    Apparently when our star's magnetic poles switch, we reach a point of high solar radiation, the solar maximum. Do we receive more radiation than usual because our stars magnetic field actually diverts some of its radiation away from us? and when it switches is becomes weaker than usual, allowing more radiation to pass?

    What generates its magnetic field? How stable is it (a well made bar magnet being a stable magnetic source)?

    Excluding the forces of gravity (and heat, radiation, etc...), if you were to take a 1'' x 1'' neodymium magnetic and place it just above the surface of the sun (a foot away), how many newtons of force would be generated?

    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"


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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Heidelberg, Germany
    The magnetic fields of the sun and the earth are apparently similar. But the field strengths of stars can differ depending on their size and age. Very young stars have typically a much stronger field than normal quiescent stars like our sun. However, the solar magnetic field is much more complicated and not as structured as the Earth's field. It is believed that the cycle of the sunspots has its cause in the repolarisation of the solar magnetic field. It is generated by the differential rotation of the solar plasma that consists of electrically charged free particles.

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  4. #3  
    Join Date
    May 2008
    The plasma of the sun is ionised (too hot to form atoms) so lots of free electrons. On Earth, we create electricity with magnets. The sun does the opposite, creating magnetic fields with electricity (free flowing electrons moving at great speeds). Like the Earth, the Sun has different spheres inside it moving at different speeds, instead of being a "solid" body, so causing the electrical charge, and the magnetic fields.

    In neutron stars, there is no reason to believe that they are 100% stable and it could be that neutrons continually fall apart and reform. This could be what gives them magnetic fields of maybe trillions of times Earth's magnetic field.

    Sunspots are hotter areas. Effectively holes in the Sun's surface where the hotter inside is exposed. These are caused by magnetic storms which makes the solar wind. A quiet Sun like at present with no sunspots means the Sun is not sending out as much energy as usual, so the Earth is cooling down.

    The Sun's magnet field is fairly stable in that it goes through 11 and 22 year cycles though there are smaller and longer cycles. this suggests a very set process instead of a seemingly random process inside the Sun.

    The 6,000.C steady surface of the Sun is an illusion caused by distance. It is like a huge stormy sea with waves hundreds, even thousands of miles high. Normal magnets lose their magnetism at several hundred degrees centigrade.
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