Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by kseeker, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    The Sun is set to “flip upside down” within weeks as its magnetic field reverses polarity in an event that will send ripple effects throughout the solar system.

    Although it may sound like a catastrophic occurrence, there’s no need to run for cover. The sun switches its polarity, flipping its magnetic north and south, once every eleven years through an internal mechanism about which little is understood.

    The swap could however cause intergalactic weather fronts such as geomagnetic storms, which can interfere with satellites and cause radio blackouts.

    Nasa said in August that the change would happen in three to four months time, but it is impossible to give a more specific date. Scientist won’t know for around another three weeks whether the flip is complete.

    The impact of the transfer will be widespread as the sun’s magnetic field exerts influence well beyond Pluto, past Nasa's Voyager probes positioned near the edge of interstellar space.

    The event will be watched closely by researchers at Stanford University’s Wilcox Solar Observatory, which monitors the sun's magnetic field on a daily basis.

    Todd Hoeksema, director of the Wilcox Solar Observatory, said the polarity change is built up throughout the eleven year cycle through areas of intense magnetic activity known as sunspots which gradually move towards the poles, eroding the existing opposite polarity.

    Eventually, the magnetic field reduces to zero, before rebounding with the opposite polarity. “It's kind of like a tide coming in or going out,” Hoeksema said. “Each little wave brings a little more water in, and eventually you get to the full reversal.”

    One of the most noticeable effect on Earth will be a boost in the occurrence, range and visibility of auroras - the Northern Lights. “It’s not a catastrophic event, it’s a large scale event that has some real implications, but its not something we need to worry about,” added Hoeksema.

    Ref: Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa - Science - News - The Independent
     
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  3. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    First I think This is the End ..but

    this one enough for the Article :wtf:
     
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  4. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    Ha ha :D :D
     
  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  6. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    Awesome time for us to go on a trip to Mars! :shocked:
     
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  7. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^^ yeah thats why some people were questioning the timing of the mars launch, but if not now then the next window opens in 2016 (a small window, and then 2018 I think). I guess they have enough protection and have hopefully learned from the last mission. The last time chandrayaan was fried by solar radiations and a miscalculation about the radiation of the moon.
     
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