ISLAMABAD        -        The Sun is a magnetized star. Its magnetic field is essentially three dimensional and it occupies all layers of the solar atmosphere. However, routine measurements of the solar magnetic field have only been achieved at the photospheric level, or the solar surface. Lacking precise knowledge about the magnetic field in the outermost solar atmosphere, the corona, has impeded our understanding of the solar magnetism and many phenomena in the solar atmosphere.

 An international team led by TIAN Hui, a professor from both Peking University and National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), has measured the global magnetic field of the solar corona for the first time. The team used observations from the Coronal Multi-channel Polarimeter (CoMP), an instrument operated by the High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA. More than 20 years ago, a technique called coronal seismology or magneto-seismology has been introduced for coronal magnetic field measurements. This method makes use of some types of oscillations or waves that are observed in coronal structures.