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Flip in Sun`s polarity to cause solar storms

Last Updated: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 13:22

London: Scientists have revealed that the magnetic field of the Sun is expected to reverse polarity within the next three weeks, which could have a huge effect on our solar system.

The Sun`s magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years, at the peak of each "solar cycle."

The polarity changes gradually over the cycle, with areas of new polarity building up as "sunspots."

Over the course of about a month, the sunspots disintegrate, and the magnetic fields migrate toward one of the Sun`s poles.

Todd Hoeksema, director of the Wilcox Solar Observatory at Stanford University, said that it`s kind of like a tide coming in or going out.

He said that each little wave brings a little more water in, and eventually you get the full reversal.

The effects of the flip will be widespread, potentially reaching out to the edge of interstellar space - causing intergalactic weather fronts like geomagnetic storms which can interfere with satellites and cause radio blackouts.

First Published: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 13:22
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