The sun has "flipped upside down": NASA

Sun 'flipped upside down'The sun has “flipped upside down”, with its north and south poles reversed to reach the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24, Nasa has said.

Now, the magnetic fields will once again start moving in opposite directions to begin the completion of the 22 year long process which will culminate in the poles switching once again.

“A reversal of the sun’s magnetic field is, literally, a big event,” said Nasa’s Dr. Tony Phillips.

“The domain of the sun’s magnetic influence (also known as the ‘heliosphere’) extends billions of kilometers beyond Pluto. Changes to the field’s polarity ripple all the way out to the Voyager probes, on the doorstep of interstellar space.”

To mark the event, Nasa has released a visualisation of the entire process.

At the beginning, in 1997 the video shows the sun in Solar Cycle 23 with its positive polarity on the top (the green lines), and the negative polarity on the bottom (the purple lines).

Each set of lines gradually move toward the opposite pole, showing a complete flip around 2002, completing the sun’s previous cycle.

Both set of lines representing the opposing magnetic fields then begin to work their way back, to culminate in the latest flip.

“At the height of each magnetic flip, the sun goes through periods of more solar activity, during which there are more sunspots, and more eruptive events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections,” said Nasa’s Karen C. Fox.

“Cosmic rays are also affected,” added Dr. Phillips. “These are high-energy particles accelerated to nearly light speed by supernova explosions and other violent events in the galaxy.”

  • cook

    Thats not the sun..

    • 5thDrawer

      I know … you coloured it yellow …. and maybe put it in a chariot being driven by a god …

  • cook2half

    Thats not the sun..

    • 5thDrawer

      I know … you coloured it yellow ….

  • wargame1

    The Sun is going through a period called the “Solar Maximum” This is a very dangerous time for the earth as an earth directed Super X class Solar flare can destroy those 900+ satellites plus all kind of communication such as GPS , Rader etc. More over it can destroy the electric grid. The solar storm of 1859, also known as the 1859 Solar Superstorm (Carrington Event) fried the Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America , in some cases giving telegraph operators electric shocks.Telegraph pylons threw sparks.Some telegraph systems continued to send and receive messages despite having been disconnected from their power supplies.

    Back then the earth directed CME i.e coronal Mass Ejection (A sample on the picture in the above article) didnt find any satellite on its way but this time it will. A possible time line of a super Solar Storm can be between June 2014 to July 2015. If that thing erupts towards earth then it can send the humanity in to stone age. Well the question is not IF but when it will happen.

    • flea

      well seeing as the max is over .. try last 2 cycles ..

  • wargame1

    The Sun is going through a period called the “Solar Maximum” This is a very dangerous time for the earth as an earth directed Super X class Solar flare can destroy those 900+ satellites plus all kind of communication such as GPS , Rader etc. More over it can destroy the electric grid. The solar storm of 1859, also known as the 1859 Solar Superstorm (Carrington Event) fried the Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America , in some cases giving telegraph operators electric shocks.Telegraph pylons threw sparks.Some telegraph systems continued to send and receive messages despite having been disconnected from their power supplies.

    Back then the earth directed CME i.e coronal Mass Ejection (A sample on the picture in the above article) didnt find any satellite on its way but this time it will. A possible time line of a super Solar can be between June 2014 to July 2015. If that thing erupts towards earth then it can send the humanity in to stone age. Well the question is not IF but when it will happen.

    • flea

      well seeing as the max is over .. try last 2 cycles ..

  • 5thDrawer

    Lucky for us, in this particular case, it’s a good thing to still be poles apart ….

  • 5thDrawer

    Lucky for us, in this particular case, it’s a good thing to still be poles apart ….