The sun is set to do a ‘flip’ of sorts within a matter of weeks, as it reverses its polarity, according to NASA.
While it may sound like the next blockbuster apocalyptic movie, don’t rush out to buy an underground bunker just yet. The sun actually performs the polarity switch every 11 years as part of its solar cycle, although not much is known about the internal mechanism of the star that causes the flip.
It can however cause from ripple effects such as geomagnetic storms, which are known to cause radio blackouts and disrupt satellites.
In August, NASA advised it could happen in 3 – 4 months time, but is impossible to predict a more specific timeframe. Hence, in another 3 weeks, scientists will know that the flip is complete.
Stanford University’s Wilcox Solar Observatory will be watching the event closely, as it monitors the suns magnetic field on a daily basis. Todd Hoeksema, the director, states that the polarity change is built up through the 11 year solar cycle through areas of intense magnetic activity known as sunspots, which gradually move toward the poles.
“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.”
Read the entire article here at The Independant.