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About Solar Mean Magnetic Field (SMMF)


Scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have conducted a study that sheds light on the impact of the sun’s magnetic field on the interplanetary magnetic space. This research has brought them closer to identifying the source of the Solar Mean Magnetic Field (SMMF), as recognized by the Department of Science and Technology.


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Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Solar Mean Magnetic Field (SMMF)
  2. New Discoveries about the SMMF

About Solar Mean Magnetic Field (SMMF):

  • Definition: The SMMF refers to the average value of the line-of-sight component of the solar vector magnetic field, calculated over the visible hemisphere. It is also studied in relation to the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF).
  • Sun’s Structure: The sun consists of the corona (outer atmosphere), the photosphere (visible surface), and the chromosphere (transparent layer above the photosphere). The magnetic field is generated by electrical currents acting as a magnetic dynamo inside the sun.
  • Focus on Photospheric Measurements: Previous studies on the SMMF have primarily focused on magnetic field measurements taken at the photosphere.

New Discoveries about the SMMF

  • Investigating Chromospheric Heights: Scientists aimed to explore the relationship between the SMMF at chromospheric heights and the SMMF at photospheric heights.
  • Similarity Found: The research revealed a significant similarity between the two, indicating a strong correlation.
  • Lower Chromospheric SMMF: The value of the SMMF at chromospheric heights was found to be lower than that at the photosphere, suggesting that the primordial magnetic field within the sun might be a source of the SMMF.
  • Analysis Method: Scientists calculated and analyzed the SMMF by incorporating magnetic field measurements from the chromosphere and comparing them with photospheric measurements.
  • Generation of Electrical Currents: The magnetic field is generated by the flow of hot, ionized gases in the sun’s convection zone.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023