Magnetic Shapes in X-rays

Magnetic Shapes in X-rays

. A coronal X-ray image (top) from the Yohkoh Soft X-ray Telescope on 26 December 1991, scaled to show the brightest parts, is compared with a magnetogram (bottom) from the National Solar Observatory, Kitt Peak, taken on the same day. In the magnetogram, black and white denote different magnetic directions or polarity, and the intensity is a measure of the magnetic field strength. Strong regions of opposite magnetic polarity are joined by magnetic loops that constrain the hot, dense gas that shines brightly in X-rays. This comparison shows that the structure and brightness of the X-ray corona are dictated by their magnetic roots in the photosphere. (Courtesy of David A. Falconer and Ronald L. Moore.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University