Researchers make magnetic fields breakthrough: "Using these computer simulations, we have studied braided magnetic fields and made a significant advance in understanding how they evolve over time,' said Dr Gunnar Hornig, one of the paper’s authors.
'You can observe magnetic fields on the Sun with satellites and see that these structures are often braided. That is they are not just simple loops, but these loops interlink.
'These structures are not static. They evolve because the Sun is not a rigid body but essentially a plasma ball of gas. It kind of boils, and the motion on the surface changes these magnetic structures. They start to move them around and sometimes the braiding is increased. And if certain critical conditions are met then these structures start to relax to something simpler."