In this video from NOVA’s Sun Lab, learn about the Sun’s ever-changing surface and magnetic field. Images and animations illustrate how the Sun’s magnetic field lines are affected by the motion of the Sun’s plasma. Over time, the magnetic field becomes twisted and more complex, which increases solar activity. When magnetic field loops break through the surface, relatively cool regions of plasma form sunspots. The crossing of magnetic field lines creates solar flares and coronal mass ejections. About every 11 years, the north and south magnetic poles exchange places, flipping the magnetic field and creating a regular cycle of high and low solar activity.
This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.
Visit the Sun Lab here.