oddard Space Flight Center -- Research with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft has revealed the process that may implement the
reversal in the direction of the Sun's magnetic field that is known to occur every 11 years.
This newly recognized factor in the Sun's magnetic flipping is the cumulative effect of more than a thousand huge eruptions called Coronal Mass
Ejections (CMEs). (The bright area at the bottom of Image 2 is an example of a CME.)
The CMEs blast billions of tons of electrified gas into space, carrying away the Sun's old magnetic field and allowing a new one with a flipped
orientation to form. (Refer to Movie 1 for an example of this process.)
An article on space.com a while ago mentioned that in the last flip of the magnetic field of the sun, the flip did not complete, and the magnetic
field of the sun is at a ninety degree angle to the position it normally would be in.
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