The sun plays a fundamental role in your existence since life on Earth would not be possible without it. In several decades many researchers have worked hard to learn more about our star. While much has been discovered, one of the most interesting questions is posed by the cycle of sunspots.
It is well known that the sun will produce more sunspots every eleven years. The reasons which led to the appearance of additional dark spots on the surface has been an enduring puzzle. A team of researchers from the University of Washington has elaborated a new paper which aims to deliver an explanation, with the main focus being placed on how plasma behaves.
The researchers used a custom model of the sun which was developed with the help of extensive studies. In the environment of the model, the sun is covered in a liquid layer of plasma which moves at various rates. As it travels around, it generates a magnetic field.
Scientists believe that they solved the mystery of sunspots
Within the study, the researchers argue that the layer will continue to grow within eleven years, and towards the end of the period it will reach a stage during which it becomes too unstable, which forces the sun to release it.
It is theorized that the thin plasma field is sustained by a dynamo effect which is generated by the fact the presence of the solar magnetic poled and the differential rotation between the solar surface and the polar magnetic flux.
In the past some researchers argued that the sunspots came from the interior of the sun, as powerful energy waves pushed plasma away from the surface in a violent manner, leading to the formation of a ‘’solar’’ scars in the area. The paper argues that sunspots appear where they can be seen, in a thin layer of plasma situated below the solar surface. The study was published in a scientific journal.