NASA shares video showing sun's 'invisible magnetic field'

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NASA Shares Video Showing Sun's 'Invisible Magnetic Field'

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center released a video model of the sun showing the behavior of its magnetic field.

The video shows otherwise invisible lines and the sun appears as a mass of noodle-like energy; in constant flux; pulsating and sending out bursts of magnetically-charged star-stuff.

According to NASA solar scientist Holly Gilbert, "The green and the purple have a north and south polarity. The white lines are closed magnetic field lines. So, they come out from the surface of the sun, and then they loop around and close near the solar surface."

And while a sight to behold, there's practical implications as well, considering these magnetic field lines can cause large solar explosions.

Related: See photos of solar flares:
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NASA shares video showing sun's 'invisible magnetic field'
The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:28 p.m. EST on Dec. 19, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. (Photo via NASA/SDO)

On Feb. 24, 2014, the sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:49 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which keeps a constant watch on the sun, captured images of the event. These SDO images from 7:25 p.m. EST on Feb. 24 show the first moments of this X-class flare in different wavelengths of light -- seen as the bright spot that appears on the left limb of the sun. Hot solar material can be seen hovering above the active region in the sun's atmosphere, the corona.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation, appearing as giant flashes of light in the SDO images. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. (Photo via NASA/SDO)

This Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 photo provided by NASA shows the first notable solar flare of the year, as observed from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 11:24 p.m. EST on Monday. NASAâs Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is a NASA mission which has been observing the sun since 2010. (AP Photo/NASA)
The bright flash of an X1.6-class flare can be seen on the right side of the sun in this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light of 131 Angstroms, which highlights the intensely hot material of a flare and which is typically colorized in teal. (Photo via NASA/SDO)
On Oct. 25, 2014, the sun emitted its fifth substantial flare since Oct.19. This flare was classified as an X1-class flare and it peaked at 1:08 p.m. EDT, as seen as a bright flash of light in this image from NASA's SDO. The image shows extreme ultraviolet light in the 131-angstrom wavelength, which highlights the intensely hot material in a flare and which is typically colorized in teal. (Photo via NASA/SDO)
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of an X2.0-class solar flare bursting off the lower right side of the sun on Oct. 27, 2014. The image shows a blend of extreme ultraviolet light with wavelengths of 131 and 171 Angstroms. (Photo via NASA/SDO)

The bright flash of an M-class flare is seen exploding on the left side of the sun in this image from Nov. 5, 2014. The image was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in extreme ultraviolet light that was colorized in red and gold. (Photo via NASA/SDO)

On Jan. 27, 2012, a large X-class flare erupted from an active region near the solar west limb. X-class flares are the most powerful of all solar events. Seen here is an image of the flare captured by the X-ray telescope on Hinode. This image shows an emission from plasma heated to greater than eight million degrees during the energy release process of the flare. (Photo via JAXA/Hinode)
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NASA notes, "Grasping what drives that magnetic system is crucial for understanding the nature of space throughout the solar system..."

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