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Sun's North Magnetic Pole Begins to Flip, South Not Moving Yet

  1. Apr 25, 2012 #1

    Dotini

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    Gold Member

    The sun has begun its 11 year magnetic polar reversal a year early, with the north jumping the gun on the south.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120421203959.htm

    "Right now, there's an imbalance between the north and the south poles," says Jonathan Cirtain, a space scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., who is also NASA's project scientist for a Japanese solar mission called Hinode. "The north is already in transition, well ahead of the south pole, and we don't understand why."


    I've looked into this phenomenon just a bit in some earlier NASA papers, and while a bit out of the ordinary, it seems to have happened often enough before, and without any necessarily adverse impact on Earth's spaceweather.

    Even so, some Japanese research indicates the potential for a quadrapolar(!) sun and cooler temperatures on Earth.
    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201204200075 [Broken]

    Respectfully submitted,
    Steve
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2012 #2

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    Wow, that's cool. Had no idea the Sun could go all Quadrapolar on us. Someone get it some medication stat.
     
  4. Apr 25, 2012 #3
    Does this mean the Sun's magnetic field will temporarily become more twisted, possibly leading to more sunspots and solar flare activity?
     
  5. Apr 25, 2012 #4

    DaveC426913

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    :bugeye: :redface: :bugeye: :redface: :bugeye: :redface:
    In all the decades I have been reading about the sun's 11 year solar cycle, not once have I ever heard that it reversed poles each time. You'd think that would be a salient point to mention...

    I guess I've been under a rock!
     
  6. Apr 26, 2012 #5

    Dotini

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    Gold Member

    Here's some more interesting, inside info on our local star from those studious folks at NASA:
    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2003/22apr_currentsheet/

    With regard to making bold predictions and confident assertions about the sun, I personally think it's wise to be modest and cautious. As Dave humorously notes, even the best-informed of us are still learning the basics.

    At a minimum, we must be very grateful to NASA, the Japanese and Euro space agencies who we, the people, fund to operate the current fleet of missions to study our local star.

    Respectfully,
    Steve
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
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