News / Science & Technology

Sun on Verge of Massive Flip

Solar activity is seen in a screenshot of a NASA video.Solar activity is seen in a screenshot of a NASA video.
x
Solar activity is seen in a screenshot of a NASA video.
Solar activity is seen in a screenshot of a NASA video.

Related Articles

Hydrogen Fuel Closer to Reality

Commercialization of such a solar-thermal reactor is likely years away

New Exoplanet Spotted with Earth-based Telescope

Scientists say planet is 57 light years away and four times the size of Jupiter

Video Curiosity Treks Into Second Year on Mars

NASA says rover has driven across more than 1.6 kilometers of Martian terrain
VOA News
Our sun is about to make an enormous flip.

According to NASA, in about three to four months, the sun’s vast magnetic field will reverse itself in what solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University says will “have ripple effects throughout the solar system."

But not to worry; scientists say this happens about every 11 years and most people may not even notice it.

The periodic switch in magnetic polarity comes at the peak of each solar cycle when “the sun's inner magnetic dynamo re-organizes itself,” Hoeksema explains. This latest flip will come in the midst of what solar physicists call Solar Cycle 24.

Solar physicist Phil Scherrer, also at Stanford, describes what happens: "The sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero, and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. This is a regular part of the solar cycle."

The effects of the changes extend throughout the sun’s magnetic influence, also known as the heliosphere. The heliosphere extends billions of kilometers beyond Pluto. 

On Earth, we may feel the effects of the flip in the form of “stormy space weather,” and possible changes in our own climate.

Here's a video about the upcoming switch:

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
August 12, 2013 2:31 AM
Yea, I am sory but I do not understand most part of video narrations. What I noticed is that dark spots are also repeating waxing and wanning every eleven years. Are there any another natural phenomena cycling about every eleven or its multiple years?

by: Cranksy from: USA
August 07, 2013 1:24 PM
I think the video with this article is probably very good at explaining what it attempts to explain, although I don't know what in the heliosphere it is about. Is there anyone reading this who can give a coherent answer to a probably self-defeating question: where is the closes place to Chicago that a person can get a good view of the aurora borealis?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More