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Space Science

Sun Flips Its Polarity 15

grasshopper69 writes: "This CNN article talks about how the sun has recently reversed its polarity, which apparently is an occurence every 11 years. This flipping indicates a time of 'solar max' during which the sun will incur more frequent sun spots and eruptions, causing solar flares, which could mean trouble for planet Earth." No one is sure why Earthly magnetic flips are so less regular, either, but all those migrating birds on the sun must be used to it already.
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Sun Flips Its Polarity

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  • The birds on the sun don't migrate, there are no season.
    And it would be pretty embaressing if our sun turned white with snow every christmas.
  • but all those migrating birds on the sun must be used to it already.
    Huh? You do know that pokemon aren't real, yeah?
  • Never heard that one before. All the explanations I've read mention convection in the core, and coriolis force, but nothing about Ice Ages.

    Can you give us a source?

  • Obviously SOHO is intended to be more than just a miner's canary - the observations give us warning, not the proximity.

  • On the positive side, solar flares are the primary cause of the aurora []. Over next couple of years is the most likely time for them to occur. The link is NOAA's page where the data on auroras is updated every 5 minutes.
  • Sol will be shutting down in five minutes for scheduled maintenance. Please save your work and log off now. We apologize for the inconvenience.
  • Hmm... I've never heard of a trip on bad shrooms called a "Terran Polar Reversal" before....
  • "embrace" is a Microsoft buzzword.. Sun doesn't embrace, they "leverage".
  • And they were saying the sun was at it's 11 year peak last year during 2000, does this mean we are in for a few more rounds of solar storms?

    Also, since the earth experiences this phenomenon as well, I am having some difficulty in imagining what would happen? Maybe all the cataclysmic parts of the Book of Revelations are a product of such a Terran polar reversal?

  • I belive the "satellite" you are thinking of is SOHO, but that would not be a satellite exactly. I would think we would only have the time it takes light to travel to earth for a warning,about seven min I think.
  • by jd ( 1658 )
    The sun has finally fipped. Oh well, it was just a matter of time. Just give it a nice, quiet room with bouncy walls, for a while, until it gets itself together.
  • No no, it's always summer on the sun (regardless or hemisphere or time of year :) -- just like California [tm]! Of course, that doesn't make migrations any more likely...

    Then again, it would be a rare breed of bird that could put up with the multi-million degree temperatures anyway. If you had a chicken that lived in a place like that, how would you cook it? What good would a 400 degree stove do? Cool it off? Good thing I'mn a vegetarian, and need not deal with such culninary dangers... :)

    (I'm still stunned that I got a first post. First time for everything...)

  • NASA have a satellite in a legrange point between the Earth and the Sun that constantly watches the Sun. This means that they can get prior warning of any solar flair outbursts heading our way by a couple of hours, and there are now warning systems in place to alert power companies (for example, a solar flare induced power failure in Northern Canada nad blacked out much of Quebec 11 years ago, because the ion storm caused fuses in power lines to break) a couple of hours ahead of time.

    Kind of impressive that we now have a space weather early warning system.
    Clarity does not require the absence of impurities,

  • by Crutcher ( 24607 ) on Monday February 19, 2001 @05:47PM (#420672) Homepage
    The flipping of the earth's magnetic field is pretty well understood:

    Ice Ages, and thaws, affect the distribution of mass upon the surface of the plannet just enough to affect the spin rate. Changes in the spin rate disrupt the coriolis induced iron magma currents in the core, which are the primary cause of earth's large magnetic field, and the field collapses into chaos.

    When these currents stabilize, having adjusted to the new spin rate, the field becomes coherent again. The polarity of the field when it reaserts is a toss up.

    So, when people talk about the earth 'flipping' its polarity, they often overlook that about 1/2 the time, the polarity after a reasert is the same as it was before the field collapsed.

    -- Crutcher --
    #include <disclaimer.h>
  • by babbage ( 61057 ) <cdevers.cis@usouthal@edu> on Monday February 19, 2001 @05:05AM (#420673) Homepage Journal
    So they're going to abandon Java & embrace .NET?

You will lose an important disk file.