Solar acrobatics: Sun's magnetic field about to flip affecting entire system

15.11.2013 • The sun is gearing up for a major solar flip, an event that happens only once every 11 years. The star's northern hemisphere already appears to have changed and the southern hemisphere should soon follow suit completing the polarity reversal, scientists report. The effects of this galactic event will ripple throughout the solar system.

Every 11 years or so, the two hemispheres of the sun switch polarity. In comparison, the last time the Earth's magnetic field flipped was almost 800,000 years ago. The sun is currently going through one of those flips in its cycle, said scientists working at Stanford University's Wilcox Solar Observatory, which has monitored the sun's magnetic field since 1975.

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