Sun expected to ‘flip upside down’ as magnetic field reverses its polarity
According to NASA the sun is about to flip upside down and it could happen any day now
8:00AM GMT 15 Nov 2013
The sun’s magnetic field is about to flip upside down as it reverses its polarity.
In August Nasa said the reversal would happen in three to four months time, although that it would be impossible to pinpoint a more specific date.
Solar physicist Todd Hoeksema from Stanford University said that the reversal would have “ripple effects” across the whole of the solar system.
According to Nasa the sun’s magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years.
In comparison the last time the Earth’s magnetic field flipped was almost 800,000 years ago.
When this happens the opposing magnetic poles switch places so the magnetic field is flipped.
The pole reversal happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the sun’s “inner magnetic dynamo” reorganises itself.
The exact internal mechanism that drives the magnetic shift is not yet entirely understood by researchers, although the sun’s magnetic field has been monitored on a daily basis by Scientists at Stanford’s Wilcox Solar Observatory.
Stanford scientist explains sun’s magnetic reversal
Published on Nov 8, 2013
The sun’s magnetic field is poised to reverse its polarity. The effects of the event, which occurs every 11 years, will ripple throughout the solar system and be closely monitored by Stanford solar physicists.
Sun Flips Poles! Sun’s Magnetic Field Reverses Polarity!
Published on Dec 30, 2013
The sun’s magnetic field has fully reversed its polarity, marking the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24, which will be completed in 11 years time
Sunday 29 December 2013The sun’s magnetic field has fully reversed its polarity, marking the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24, which will be completed in 11 years time
The sun has “flipped upside down”, with its north and south poles reversed to reach the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24, Nasa has said.
NASA | The Sun Reverses its Magnetic Poles
Published on Dec 5, 2013
This visualization shows the position of the sun’s magnetic fields from January 1997 to December 2013. The field lines swarm with activity: The magenta lines show where the sun’s overall field is negative and the green lines show where it is positive. A region with more electrons is negative, the region with less is labeled positive. Additional gray lines represent areas of local magnetic variation.
The entire sun’s magnetic polarity, flips approximately every 11 years — though sometimes it takes quite a bit longer — and defines what’s known as the solar cycle. The visualization shows how in 1997, the sun shows the positive polarity on the top, and the negative polarity on the bottom. Over the next 12 years, each set of lines is seen to creep toward the opposite pole eventually showing a complete flip. By the end of the movie, each set of lines are working their way back to show a positive polarity on the top to complete the full 22 year magnetic solar cycle.
At the height of each magnetic flip, the sun goes through periods of more solar activity, during which there are more sunspots, and more eruptive events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, or CMEs. The point in time with the most sunspots is called solar maximum.
This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11429
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