NASA reveals new information on Sun's magnetic field and its kin!

The US space agency NASA has released illustrated image of the magnetic field that depicts the interior of a low-mass star, such as GJ 3253, a low-mass red dwarf star about 31 light years away from our planet.

Updated: Jul 28, 2016, 22:25 PM IST
NASA reveals new information on Sun's magnetic field and its kin!
Photo Credits: NASA/CXC/Keele Univ./N Wright et al

New Delhi: The US space agency NASA has released illustrated image of the magnetic field that depicts the interior of a low-mass star, such as GJ 3253, a low-mass red dwarf star about 31 light years away from our planet.

According to NASA, astronomers have used data from it's Chandra X-ray Observatory to make a discovery that may have profound implications for understanding how the magnetic field in the Sun and stars like it are generated.

Four old red dwarf stars with masses less than half that of the Sun that are emitting X-rays at a much lower rate than expected have been discovered by the researchers.

This discovery suggests that these stars have much weaker magnetic fields than previously thought as the x-ray emission is an excellent indicator of a star’s magnetic field strength.

Since young stars of all masses have very high levels of X-ray emission and magnetic field strength, this suggests that the magnetic fields of these stars weakened over time. While this is a commonly observed property of stars like our Sun, it was not expected to occur for low-mass stars, as their internal structure is very different.

The Sun and other stars are giant spheres of superheated gas. The Sun's magnetic field is responsible for producing sunspots, its 11-year cycle, and powerful eruptions of particles from the solar surface.