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The Sun is changing things up: Magnetic field reversal coming soon

IN SPACE - JUNE 7: In this handout from NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory, a solar large flare erupts off the sun June 7, 2011 in space. A large cloud of particles flew up and then was pulled back down to the sun's surface.
Credit: Handout

Even the Sun likes to change things up sometimes.

Not satisfied with the direction of its magnetic field, the Sun is set to change directions, says NASA.

The Sun does this every 11 years and it is considered the halfway point of the "solar maximum" — the peak of its weather cycle.

The Sun's magnetic fields will weaken and then be reduced to nothing before making the change.

We won't feel the change here on Earth but the reversal could spark bad weather around our solar system.

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The most that could happen, say researchers, is that we get brighter Northern Lights and satellites could be affected by increased solar flares.

"It looks like we're no more than three to four months away from a complete field reversal," said solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University.

"This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system."

Those effects could be felt as far away as Pluto, or even beyond.

"The Sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up," said solar physicist Phil Scherrer.

"Soon, however, both poles will be reversed, and the second half of Solar Max will be underway."

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