posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 12:55 AM
The IMF (interplanetary magnetic field) is not really related to the magnetic poles of the Sun. When plasma (the solar wind) leaves the Sun it carries
with it a magnetic field. The orientation of this magnetic field can vary in three dimensions and depends on the conditions in the corona from where
it originated. In particular, the Bz component of the the solar wind took a south turn a few days ago. The Bz component is the axis which aligns most
closely with Earth's magnetic axis. Since a south orientation is the opposite orientation of Earth's magnetic field, the two fields (IMF and Earth's)
can connect and this allows the charged particles of the solar wind to enter and collect in the magnetosphere.
It happened again a few hours ago, the solar wind took a south turn and once again there was an uptick in geomagnetic activity.
It is not an unusual occurrence. A south turn of the solar wind does not
indicate the reversal of the Sun's magnetic poles.
2/19/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)