By. Prof. R. Beck at the Moseo de la Ciencia y el Cosmos. (Nextdoors to IAC.)
Nov. 19, 2013
Magnetic fields in the Universe
Understanding the Universe is impossible without understanding magnetic fields. They protect the Earth against dangerous particles from the Sun and are responsible for solar and stellar activity.
They fill all space between stars and between galaxies, affect the evolution of galaxies, are essential for the birth of new stars and control the density and distribution of charged cosmic particles (cosmic rays). In spite of their importance, the evolution, structure and origin of
magnetic fields are all still open problems. When and how were the first magnetic fields in the Universe generated? How did magnetic fields evolve as galaxies evolve? How strong are the magnetic fields between galaxies?
Radio telescopes are ideal instruments to measure magnetic fields. The new giant radio telescopes LOFAR and SKA will open a new era to understand cosmic magnetism.