NASA: The Sunís Magnetic Field is about to Flip
Dr. Tony Phillips | NASA Science News
Something big is about to happen on the sun. According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sunís vast magnetic field is about to flip.
"It looks like weíre no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal," says solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. "This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system."
The sunís magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the sunís inner magnetic dynamo re-organizes itself. The coming reversal will mark the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24. Half of íSolar Maxí will be behind us, with half yet to come.
Hoeksema is the director of Stanfordís Wilcox Solar Observatory, one of the few observatories in the world that monitor the sunís polar magnetic fields. The poles are a herald of change. Just as Earth scientists watch our planetís polar regions for signs of climate change, solar physicists do the same thing for the sun. Magnetograms at Wilcox have been tracking the sunís polar magnetism since 1976, and they have recorded three grand reversalsówith a fourth in the offing.
Solar physicist Phil Scherrer, also at Stanford, describes what happens: "The sunís polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero, and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. This is a regular part of the solar cycle."
A reversal of the sunís magnetic field is, literally, a big event. The domain of the sunís magnetic influence (also known as the "heliosphere") extends billions of kilometers beyond Pluto. Changes to the fieldís polarity ripple all the way out to the Voyager probes, on the doorstep of interstellar space.
When solar physicists talk about solar field reversals, their conversation often centers on the "current sheet." The current sheet is a sprawling surface jutting outward from the sunís equator where the sunís slowly-rotating magnetic field induces an electrical current. The current itself is small, only one ten-billionth of an amp per square meter (0.0000000001 amps/m2), but thereís a lot of it: the amperage flows through a region 10,000 km thick and billions of kilometers wide. Electrically speaking, the entire heliosphere is organized around this enormous sheet.
During field reversals, the current sheet becomes very wavy. Scherrer likens the undulations to the seams on a baseball. As Earth orbits the sun, we dip in and out of the current sheet. Transitions from one side to another can stir up stormy space weather around our planet.
Cosmic rays are also affected. These are high-energy particles accelerated to nearly light speed by supernova explosions and other violent events in the galaxy. Cosmic rays are a danger to astronauts and space probes, and some researchers say they might affect the cloudiness and climate of Earth. The current sheet acts as a barrier to cosmic rays, deflecting them as they attempt to penetrate the inner solar system. A wavy, crinkly sheet acts as a better shield against these energetic particles from deep space.
As the field reversal approaches, data from Wilcox show that the sunís two hemispheres are out of synch.
"The sunís north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up," says Scherrer. "Soon, however, both poles will be reversed, and the second half of Solar Max will be underway."
When that happens, Hoeksema and Scherrer will share the news with their colleagues and the public.
Article from: nasa.gov
Tune into Red Ice Radio:
Jay Weidner, Barbara Hand Clow & Lawrence E. Joseph - 2012 Roundtable Special
Will Hart - Solar Flare Apocalypse, Accelerated Natural Disasters & Evolution
Paul A. LaViolette - Earth Under Fire, Galactic Superwaves & Subquantum Kinetics
Micheal Sunanda - Extreme Weather, Global Warming & Permaculture
Robert Schoch - The Mystery of the Sphinx, Forgotten Civilization & Catastrophic Solar Outbursts
Matthew Stein - Hour 1 - When Technology Fails & Six Civilization Busters
Matthew Stein - Hour 2 - 400 Chernobyls, Super Solar Storms & EMPs
David Talbott - Lightning Scarred Planet Mars & The Electric Sun
Randall Carlson - Hour 1 - Cycles of Catastrophe & Cosmic Patterns
Will Hart - Solar Flare Apocalypse & Comets
David Talbott - Hour 1 - Symbols of an Alien Sky
Troy McLachlan & Theodore Holden - Hour 1 - Cosmos in Collision: Antique Solar System, Neanderthals & Modern Man
A storm is coming: Sunís poles are set to FLIP and it could lead to bad weather and radio disruption
Reverse! Sunís magnetic field on the brink of 180-degree flip
Magnetic Portals Connect Sun and Earth
Mystery of Moonís Magnetic Field Deepens
New energy pattern observed at National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Bioelectromagnetics: Bees & Flowers Communicate Using Electrical Fields, Scientists Find
Earthís Magnetic Field Made Quick Flip- Flop
Magnetic polar shift on the sun underway
What If Earthís Magnetic Poles Flip?
EMP Attack and Solar Storms, Part II: Cascading Failures and Nuclear Meltdown
2013ís solar maximum could be weakest since the dawn of the space age
Huge X-class Solar Flares Keep Erupting from Sun: 4 in 48 Hours!
The Electric Sun (Magnetic Field, Schuman Resonance, Pole Shift)
WAL THORNHILL: From Cosmic Currents to the Electric Sun
Earthís Inconstant Magnetic Field
Latest News from our Front Page
Europe Survived War And Depression: Can She Survive Invasion?
However the Greek crisis ends, whether with Athens leaving the Eurozone, or submitting and accepting austerity at the dictates of its creditors, the European Union appears headed for an existential crisis.
Greece borrowed and spent beyond its means, like New York City in the ’70s, and Detroit, Illinois, and Puerto Rico today. But the crisis of Europe is about more than ...
Professor: Reason Itself Is A White Male Construct
A philosophy and religion professor at Syracuse University gave an interview to The New York Times Thursday in which he critiqued the notion of pure reason as simply being a “white male Euro-Christian construction.”
Prof. John Caputo was being interviewed by fellow philosophy professor George Yancy for the 13th installment of an interview series Yancy conducts with philosophers regarding racial topics.
Given its emphasis on first principles ...
The Broken Window Fallacy
Youtube description: This short video explains one of the most persistent economic fallacies of our day.
Jenji Kohan and the Jewish Hyper-Sexualization of Western Culture
As detailed in The Culture of Critique, Freud and his followers regarded anti-Semitism was a universal pathology which had its roots in sexual repression. The theoretical basis for this can be found in Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality where he linked aggression to the frustration of human drives — especially the sex drive. Kevin MacDonald notes that: ...
Confederate History - Dispelling the Myths
History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispell some of these rampant inaccuracies.
MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery.
FACT - Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain ...
|More News » |