The Sun's magnetic field is about to flip
The Sun will soon reach the peak of its solar cycle and reverse the polarity of its magnetic field. What does that mean for Earth?
Sun erupts with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME - 20 Jun 2013 (NASA/Goddard/SDO/Rex Features)
The sun is about to change, according to NASA, and a report from Space.com. Once every 11 years, the sun flips its magnetic field. The star's polar magnetic fields will weaken, disappear completely, and then reappear with the opposite polarity. NASA-supported observatories report that we're only three or four months away from a complete magnetic field reversal.
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What does this mean for us? Down here on Earth's surface, not much. It can create some stormy space weather, though. When the shift happens, the sun's "current sheet" -- the surface emanating from the sun's equator where the magnetic field transitions from north to south -- becomes very wavy. As Earth's orbit takes us in and out of these waves, the weather around us can get turbulent.
Trending topic: sun magnetic field
The flipping of the Sun's magnetic field does have some benefits. It provides extra shielding from cosmic rays. What are those? Cosmic rays are high energy particles that fly through the universe, accelerated by things like supernovas. They can harm satellites and astronauts in space. The wavy current sheet provides better protection from these particles.
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This event marks the peak of the sun's weather cycle and the halfway point of the solar maximum -- the part of the cycle with the greatest solar activity. This current solar maximum is the weakest in 100 years, with fewer observed sunspots than in cycles past.
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a natural occurring event just like global warming cycles.
What I want to know is when are we launching Sheila Jackson Lee into orbit?
That is one stupid broad.
THE SUN IS THE SINGLE MOST SIGNIFICANT CAUSE OF WEATHER ON THE EARTH, PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!
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