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Reversal in the Sun's Polarity Leads to Uptick in Solar Activity

November 6, 2013; 7:24 AM ET

A few months ago, scientists concluded that the sun's magnetic field was in the process of a polarity reversal. This is a normal process with the sun, occurring near the peak of solar activity each solar cycle.

With the sun recently completed what is expected to be the most active period in solar cycle 24, we have to ask ourselves if the reversal of the poles had something to do with this dramatic uptick in solar active. Please here to read a recent blog about how busy the sun has been. An update to that story is that in the last 10 days or so, there have been at least a dozen M-class flares and 3 X-class flares.

So, our panel of experts at AccuWeather Astronomy on Facebook put their heads together and came up with the conclusion that they certainly did have something to do with one another.

Our experts hypothesize that when the poles are in the process of reversing, the magnetic fields of the sun become twisted. This configuration leads to more openings in the chronosphere which causes more sunspots and other solar activity, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME).

Courtesy of leif.org, this diagram shows the reversal of the sun's magnetic poles. Please see the site here

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The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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About This Blog

Astronomy Blog
The AccuWeather.com astronomy blog, by Mark Paquette, discusses stargazing and astronomy issues and how the weather will interact with current astronomy events.