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Sun's magnetic field on the brink of 180-degree flip

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posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 12:20 PM

The Sun's magnetic field is expected to flip by 180-degrees in the next three to four months which could lead to changes in climate, storms and even disrupt satellites, scientists have warned.

The Sun's magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the Sun's inner magnetic dynamo re-organises itself.

The reversal will mark the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24.

Half of "solar max" will be behind us, with half yet to come.

"It looks like we're no more than three to four months away from a complete field reversal. This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system," said solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University.

Magnetograms at Wilcox have been tracking the Sun's polar magnetism since 1976, and they have recorded three grand reversals-with a fourth in the offing.

"The Sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero and then emerge again with the opposite polarity.

This is a regular part of the solar cycle," Solar physicist Phil Scherrer, also at Stanford, said.

A reversal of the Sun's magnetic field is, literally, a big event. The domain of the sun's magnetic influence (also known as the "heliosphere") extends billions of kilometres beyond Pluto.

Changes to the field's polarity ripple all the way out to the Voyager probes, on the doorstep of interstellar space. When solar physicists talk about solar field reversals, their conversation often centres on the "current sheet."

The current sheet is a sprawling surface jutting outward from the Sun's equator where the Sun is slowly rotating magnetic field induces an electrical current.

The current itself is small, only one ten-billionth of an amp per square meter, but there's a lot of it: the amperage flows through a region 10,000 km thick and billions of kilometres wide. Electrically speaking, the entire heliosphere is organised around this enormous sheet, researchers said.

During field reversals, the current sheet becomes very wavy. Scherrer likens the undulations to the seams on a baseball.

As Earth orbits the Sun, we dip in and out of the current sheet. Transitions from one side to another can stir up stormy space weather around our planet, researchers said.

Cosmic rays are also affected. These are high-energy particles accelerated to nearly light speed by supernova explosions and other violent events in the galaxy.

Cosmic rays are a danger to astronauts and space probes, and some researchers say they might affect the cloudiness and climate of Earth.

So we are 3-4 months away from a massive solar event ...
Am really not to knowledgeable on this so can anyone tell what after effects will this have on Earth....IS this what Solar storm is ?

posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 12:24 PM

Originally posted by maddy21
Am really not to knowledgeable on this so can anyone tell what after effects will this have on Earth...

The answer is "none whatsoever".
This flip has happened every 11 years for all of human history and not a single person noticed until we put scientific instruments into space.

Originally posted by maddy21
This is a regular part of the solar cycle," Solar physicist Phil Scherrer, also at Stanford, said.

Yeah, like he said.

posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 12:26 PM
While I will admit we have had a rather mild solar maximum this cycle, an that the sun flips it's magnetic poles every 11 years give ot take.

And I have heard that when the sun gets to the end of it's maximum it has a likelyhood of releasing a big overall burst in the form of a CME and would be a matter of in the right place at the right time. We've had a few near misses by a couple bigger CMEs but nothing that was Carrington event like.

Hopefully we'll be ok, but on the other hand, could explain if the knowledge has been known for a while why the world seems to be falling apart, after reaching a more advanced technological age.

Who knows, map out some cave systems near you is All I can say.

posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 12:27 PM

there is a thread already discussing this, i suggest you join that one.

Other thread


posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 03:13 AM
reply to post by maddy21

the sun has `` undergone a pole shift " - 23 times previously in recorded history [ every 11 years ] - and its assumed that these pole shifts have been occurring throughout the suns life

CMEs , x-class flares etc are independent of this pole shift and very difficult to predict

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