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The Sun is interwoven by a complex network of magnetic field lines that are responsible for a large variety of fascinating features that can be seen in the solar atmosphere. Large, dark regions, which look like holes on the Sun´s surface, mark out areas where the magnetic field breaks through from the Sun´s deep, boiling interior and rises into the very hot solar atmosphere, which is over a million degrees. The largest of these dark regions are often called sunspots and have been studied since their discovery from as early as 364 BC
Led by Professor Robertus von Fay-Siebenburgen, Head of the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC) at the University of Sheffield, the team studied a magnetic region of the Sun much smaller than a sunspot, however its size was still many times greater than the size of the UK.