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The Big Reversal

Did you know the sun’s magnetic field reverses every 11 years or so? It sounds scary, but it’s obviously nothing to worry too much about. We’ve got the info on this big solar shift.

A Long Magnetic Reach

The 24th solar cycle since 1976. That’s when they started tracking the sun’s polar magnetism.The sun’s magnetic influence across the universe is very powerful. The effects are felt billions of kilometers beyond Pluto.

What Happens During a Reversal

When a field reversal happens, the current magnetic sheet gets a LOT wavier. We dip in an out of the “waves” as we orbit the sun. And as we do, the transitions can cause stormy weather in the space around our planet.

Stormy Solar Weather

Cosmic rays can become a big danger to our space probes and our astronauts. But here’s the beauty of how nature works… because during this time, as the magnetic field gets “wavy”, it helps deflect those cosmic rays, lessening the impact and danger to us. This 24th cycle may even turn out to be the weakest solar cycle in the past 100 years.

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About The Author

Avatar of Cali Lewis

Host of GeekBeat.TV - Cali has been using new media and podcasts to talk about her passion - technology, gadgets and science - since 2005. Find out more about her at www.geekbeat.tv/about or on Cali's Google Profile.

One Response

  1. Mitch J

    Nice! I love that you guys do science-ey episodes in addition to just product announcement type shows. By the way, old-school technologists, like ham radio guys, pay a lot of attention to the solar cycles because during periods of maximum solar wind, the ionosphere reflects radio signals much better, allowing them to travel further around the world.