Space & Astronomy
Sun's magnetic field has flipped upside-down
By T.K. Randall
December 31, 2013 · 14 comments
The magnetic reversal is a regular occurrence. Image Credit: NASA/SDO
NASA has announced that the long-awaited reversal of the sun's magnetic poles has finally taken place.
The reversal, which takes place every 11 years, is part of the sun's natural cycle and is not believed to pose any risk to the Earth. The magnetic fields will now begin their next cycle which will culminate in another reversal at the end of the 22 year long process.
"A reversal of the sun's magnetic field is, literally, a big event," said Dr. Tony Phillips. "The domain of the sun's magnetic influence (also known as the 'heliosphere') extends billions of kilometers beyond Pluto. Changes to the field's polarity ripple all the way out to the Voyager probes, on the doorstep of interstellar space."
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