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Re: The Sun has no South Pole

On Sun, 2 Dec 2001, David Knisely wrote:

> You posted:
>>> If they actually published that "Astronomers were shocked at finding the
>>> Sun has no South Pole" then they most certainly are a yellow rag.
>> Have a look at New Scientist yourself before you make such an
>> accusation. The URL was posted earlier in this thread.
> If they actually said that it has "no South Pole", then I have some real
> doubts about their editors.  The sun has always had a north and south
> pole, but these are the standard rotational poles and are the ones most
> often referred to when talking about a "south Pole" (*not* magnetic
> ones).  The article should *NEVER* have used the word "pole" without
> such a qualifier.  The variability of the sun's overall field has been
> well known for decades and there may be times when it is difficult or
> impossible to precisely locate an overall "global" solar field
> *magnetic* south pole  [ ... ]

Look, I'm not taking sides in any silly Planet X debate. I was only
making the observation that you should not use an extremely derogatory
expression like "yellow rag" in reference to a responsible digest of
scientific news like New Scientist, based merely on a catch-line quoted
in a Usenet post and apparently without knowing the publication or even
bothering to look at its website.

For your information, the article in question (actually just a news
brief) mentions that when Ulysses approached the southern region of the
Sun, "The field lines were expected to become more bunched and intense
[ ... ]  'Instead, the strength of the magnetic field remained
absolutely constant,' says Richard Marsden, a project scientist on
"The only reasonable explanation, says Marsden, is that the Sun's south
magnetic pole is large and diffuse."

Which is what you're saying and what any sensible person should expect.
This item appeared on 24 September 1994 - in volume 143 of New Scientist
(they've been around for a while). See