A Strangely Magnetized (Perpendicular) Sunspot

Aug. 25, 2022: New sunspot AR3088 is emerging in the sun’s southern hemisphere. Its magnetic field is not normal:

Shown above is a map of magnetic fields on the sun. AR3088 is inset. According to Hale’s Law, the sunspot’s magnetic poles should be arranged +/-, that is, positive (+) on the left and negative (-) on the right. Instead, they are rotated 90 degrees; positive (+) is on top and negative (-) is on the bottom.

This is a rare “perpendicular sunspot,” with magnetic poles orthogonal to the sun’s equator. What’s going on? Something unusual may be happening to the sun’s magnetic dynamo beneath the surface where this sunspot is growing. We’ll keep an eye on AR3088 to see what happens next. Solar flare alerts: SMS Text

This story was brought to you by Spaceweather.com

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