Physicists monitoring huge solar event
Every 11 years, the Sun’s magnetic field —its magnetic north and south — flips, and the effects ripple throughout the solar system.
By Stanford University, Palo Alto, California | Published: Monday, November 11, 2013
Every 11 years, the Sun undergoes a complete makeover when the polarity of its magnetic field — its magnetic north and south — flips. The effects of this large-scale event ripple throughout the solar system.
Although the exact internal mechanism that drives the shift is not entirely understood, researchers at Stanford’s Wilcox Solar Observatory have monitored the Sun’s magnetic field on a daily basis since 1975 and can identify the process as it occurs on the Sun’s surface. This will be the fourth shift the observatory has monitored.
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