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    Sun's Magnetic Poles Reverse

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    The magnetic poles of the sun are getting ready to switch upside down, making the positive side negative and vice versa.

    The magnetic poles of the sun are getting ready to switch upside down, making the positive side negative and vice versa.

    Experts aren’t sure exactly when the magnetic shift is going to happen, but they will know by December 7th when the south pole of the sun comes into view for astronomers.

    Leading up to the magnetic shift is what astronomers call the solar maximum, when there are a lot of sunspots and large solar flares, which along with the change in magnetic polarity of the sun happens every 11 years.

    The sunspots that occur during a solar maximum are actually cooler than the surrounding areas on the sun, and when enough of them build up the magnetic polarity switches.

    Also during the solar maximum, solar flares can cause space weather, which has been known to be a problem for satellite communication.

    According to Todd Hoeksema, a solar astronomer and director of the Wilcox Observatory, sunspots were first noticed in the 1600’s but it wasn’t until the 1800’s when researchers started tracing the cycles back to the 1700’s. We are currently at the peak of Cycle 24 and on the verge of starting Cycle 25.

    What do you think about the magnetic polarity of the sun reversing?