Measurements from NASA-supported observatories suggest that the sun’s vast magnetic field is about to flip. The sun’s magnetic field changes polarity approximately for every 11 years. This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the sun’s inner magnetic dynamo re-organizes itself.

The coming reversal will mark the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24. Half of “solar max” will be behind us, with half yet to come. Our planet’s polar regions for the signs of climate change. 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.

 

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