A Magnetic Earth Around A Magnetic Sun

VISUAL 19 (still): Symmetric Magnetic Field Idled around Earth [Fade off Symmetric Magnetic Field.] The Sun is a magnetic star. And Earth is a magnetic planet! VISUAL 20 (movie): Magnetic Field of the Earth, Field Detection[Show and play the video that accompanies the interactive Magnetic Fields activity]. DIGITAL EFFECT: Magnetic MoviePause and hide the video. […]

Differential Rotation

VISUAL 12 (still): Intensitygram of Sun[Show, in sequence, an intensity-gram of the Sun.] We can learn more from sunspots by looking at images different than the type we see here. VISUAL 13 (still): Magnetogram of Sun This is the same Sun, but this is a magnetogram, showing the Sun’s magnetic intensity. You can see the […]


The Sun is a constantly changing star. At its surface, it is driven by magnetism. Sunspots are areas of intense magnetic activity—almost like storms—on the Sun. The Sun goes through an 11-year cycle with lots of sunspots at the peak, and hardly any sunspots at the low point of the cycle. Often, sunspots form in […]

Different Views of the Sun

The Sun follows different paths across the sky, but what does the Sun itself look like? VISUAL 4 (still): Galileo Sketch of Sunspots[Toggle an image of Galileo’s telescopic view of the Sun.] Long ago, many people assumed that the Sun was a perfect glowing sphere, but when Galileo first looked at the Sun with his […]

The Sun as a Timekeeper

DIGITAL EFFECT: Summer Pre-SunriseGo to just before sunrise June 21st. People have observed the Sun for thousands of years—they had to observe the Sun as a matter of survival.  Why would that be?  [Before we had nice wall calendars, the Sun helped keep track of the seasons, and critical times for planting crops.] DIGITAL EFFECT: […]