Friday, February 15, 2008

Sun-like star flips its magnetic field

clipped from www.astronomy.com
An international group of astronomers that includes the University of Hawaii's Evgenya Shkolnik reported today that they have discovered that the Sun-like star tau Bootis flipped its magnetic field from north to south sometime during the last year.
It has been known for many years that the Sun's magnetic field changes its direction every 11 years, but this is this is the first time that such a change has been observed in another star. The team of astronomers, who made use of Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope atop Mauna Kea, are now closely monitoring tau Bootis to see how long it will be before the magnetic field reverses again.
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