Science Current Events Introduction
In the next few months the positive pole of the sun will suddenly change into a negative pole on the sun. The switch in pole polarity occurs about once every eleven years. Scientists have document the changing of the pole for a while and NASA has a graph showing when it changed in previous years.
Reversal of magnetic fields
The reversal of the magnetic field occurs on a regular basis during the peak of the sunspot cycle. The changing of the magnetic poles here on Earth is important because of today’s communication system that can sometimes be affected when the poles suddenly flip.
Sun’s Magnetic Poles switch every 11 years, NASA
Peak of the sunspot cycle
The peak of the sunspot cycle when the poles suddenly flip has an increased bursts of plasma that are launched into space. This is the smallest sunspot cycle in at least 100 years. The only worry is with space weather and how it might affect the power grid here on Earth. Since it is the smallest sunspot cycle in over 100 years there is not much expectation of a major problem here on Earth.
Ripple effect on the solar system
The change has ripple effects throughout the solar system. The sun sends out currents from the sun that form a kind of flat sheet extending billions of kilometers outward from the sun’s equator. When the poles switch ends the sheet becomes wavy. The orbit of Earth as it travels around the sun dips into and out of the current sheet of energy. When the poles reverse the sheet dips creating storm space weather.
11-year solar cycle
The peak of the sun’s 11-year solar cycle is when the sun’s polar magnetic fields weaken and go to zero. The fields emerge with the opposite polarity after this go to zero. The changing of the poles can create stormy space weather that protects us from dangerous cosmic rays coming in from outer space after a supernova explosion.
Protecting satellites and astronauts in space
The wrinkled effect of the sheet protects both satellites and astronauts in space from the particles produced by supernova explosions coming into the solar system.
Science Articles for Kids - Includes science current events about the Sun’s magnetic poles changing, tourist in space, a two-toned lobster, Kepler telescope discoveries and our science newsletter for kids.
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Kids Science Newsletter Our FREE science newsletter is published each month during the school year. The newsletter includes science news, trivia, and a fun activity. Check out a sample of our newsletter on this page.