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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.