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Sun’s Hemispheres Out Of Sync During Magnetic Field

sun polarity, sun polarity shift

courtesy of space.com

The sun’s magnetic field is just a few months from flipping, according to Wilcox Solar Observatory measurements. The field spans the entire solar system. The polarity shifts happen every 11 years near the peak of the solar cycle, when the “inner dynamo” of the sun reorganizes itself.

Stanford University physicist Todd Hoeksema noted in a news release that the Sun’s magnetic field change will have “ripple effects” throughout the solar system. When a magnetic field reversal occurs, the sun’s polar fields lose strength and then emerge once again with opposite polarity. During the magnetic field switch, that is currently underway, Wilcox Solar Observatory scientists are noticing a new and alarming twist.  The sun’s two hemispheres are unusually out of sync. The North Pole is in the midst of change and the South Pole is rushing to catch up. The irregularity means that at least for now, the sun technically has two South Poles.

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5 comments

  1. What does that mean for us? I mean, how does it affect the earth?

    • Two south poles. So the north poles meet at the center of the Sun. “Like” pole magnets REPEL each other. Two Suns maybe. It won’t effect the earth other than we may be a crisply piece of ash.

  2. Thanks for informative post. We are pleased sure this post aids me save many hours of surfing around other related posts just to find what I became looking for. Simply I want to state: Thank you!

  3. Fascinating…but something must be wrong with the explanation. Magnetic field lines always loop back on themselves so you can’t have only ‘south’ field lines coming out of the sun. Instead there must be spatially separated magnetic regions in the sun with ‘south’ poles near the poles which means the field lines must be looping back near the equator or somewhere else. You could say the ‘north’ poles were near the equator, but in fact, you have a more complex magnetic field that is not simply a dipole, so you can’t describe it with two poles. Of course a news article about the quadrupole moment of the sun becoming large compared with the dipole moment would not be a winner, so we get confusing stories about two poles.

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