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The Sun Has Flipped
1 year ago

Wonder if that's why it's so cold across the country??

The sun has "flipped upside down," NASA announced at the end of December. Although the star that defines our solar system has not physically flipped, its north and south poles have reversed in a natural process marking the midpoint of what is known as the solar cycle.

According to Todd Hoeksema, director of the Wilcox Solar Observatory at Stanford University, the sun goes through a natural cycle that averages 22 years. In each half-cycle, areas of intense solar magnetic activity known as sunspots gradually move from the sun's equatorial region toward the poles, eventually disrupting the magnetic fields at the star's North and South. Eventually, the sun's magnetic field shuts down entirely, then reboots with the positive and negative poles at opposite sides.

"It's kind of like a tide coming in or going out," Hoeksema said. "Each little wave brings a little more water in, and eventually you get to the full reversal."

This cycle then repeats, ending when the poles are back in their initial locations. The recent reversal marks the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24, which began in 2002.

1 year ago

Gee, you mean the sun actually has something to do with the weather on planet earth?  I thought it was all anthropomorphic.  

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In the case of the last few weeks, that could actually be the case.  With the Obama's on vacation and Congress in recess, all that hot air from DC hasn't been around to offset the cold fronts.  

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