National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

HINODE Captures Record Breaking Solar Magnetic Field

| Science

Snapshot of a sunspot observed by the Hinode spacecraft.
Snapshot of a sunspot observed by the Hinode spacecraft. (top) Visible light continuum image. (bottom) Magnetic field strength map. The color shows the field strength, from weak (cool colors) to strong (warm colors). Red indicates a location with a strength of more than 6,000 gauss (600 mT).

Astronomers at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) using the HINODE spacecraft observed the strongest magnetic field ever directly measured on the surface of the Sun. Analyzing data for 5 days around the appearance of this record breaking magnetic field, the astronomers determined that it was generated as a result of gas outflow from one sunspot pushing against another sunspot.

These results were published as Okamoto and Sakurai, “Super-strong Magnetic Field in Sunspots,” in “The Astrophysical Journal Letters”, 852 (2018).

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