Reversal of the sun's magnetic field in a few months from now!!!

A Video of NASA of what it might look like if magnetic forces draw out loops and strands of hot plasma from the sun's surface. - Image courtesy NASA

The sun's magnetic field, which extends beyond Pluto and the solar system, is just months away from flipping, Stanford’s Wilcox Solar observatory measurements show. The sun's magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years during the peak of each solar cycle as the sun's inner dynamo reorganizes itself.

"This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system," solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University said in a statement.

Scientists are already seeing signs of the reversal happening, and this time there's a twist: the sun's two hemispheres are oddly out of sync, with the North Pole already beginning to change and the South Pole racing to catch up. That means that for now, at least, the sun effectively has two South Poles.

What Does a Reversal Mean?

A reversal of the sun's magnetic field will have consequences throughout the solar system. As the Earth orbits the sun the outer space will become stormy. There is a risk of exposure to cosmic rays. Cosmic rays pose a threat to astronauts and space probes, and some researchers say they might also affect the cloudiness and climate of Earth.

News from National Geographic - Ker Than

Published August 7, 2013

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