The whole of the sun’s magnetic field is about to “flip”, according to NASA – with warning signs being spotted by observatories around the world this year.
The whole of the sun’s magnetic field is about to “flip”, according toNASA – with warning signs being spotted by observatories around the world this year.
This “flip” happens every 11 years, and coincides with the greatest solar activity in the “cycles” of the sun, known as “Solar Maximum” – with sunspots and “coronal mass ejections” on the surface of the sun.
“It looks like we’re no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal,” says solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. “This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system.”
The effects are so powerful they will be felt beyond Pluto – and may affect phenomena such as cosmic rays, which some believe can alter the climate on Earth.
Scientists have recorded these “flips” for decades, but the process is still not fully understood. This particular “flip” has already puzzled scientists – with one magnetic pole of the sun appearing to flip “too early” last year.