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Solar Dynamo


Strong bands of toroidal magnetic field are built by solar dynamo action in a star like our sun but rotating three times faster. In this simulation the two regions of opposite magnetic polarity (red positive, blue negative) lie above and below the solar equator (dashed line) and fill most of the turbulent convection zone which spans the outer 30 percent of the star's radius. Using SDSC's Blue Gene Data supercomputer, these simulations of long-term dynamo action revealed that the remarkable global-scale bands can persist for long periods even in the presence of highly turbulent convection, changing scientists' understanding of dynamo action in rapidly rotating stars.
Credit: B. Brown, N. Nelson, and J. Toomre, U. Colorado; S. Cutchin, SDSC/UCSD; Vapor Group, NCAR.
Source: San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego

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