Explanation of how the magnetic field on a star affects the light emitted

This animation shows what happens as a sunspot (or starspot) forms and the magnetic field increases in strength. The light emerging from the spot starts to demonstrate the Zeeman effect. The dark spectra lines in the spectrum of the emitted light split into three components and the strength of the circular polarisation in parts of the spectrum increases significantly. This polarisation effect is a powerful tool for astronomers to detect and measure stellar magnetic fields.


ESO/L. Calçada

About the Video

Release date:25 September 2015, 11:00
Related announcements:ann15071
Duration:47 s
Frame rate:30 fps

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