Share this article:
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
You can leave your comments, as well as be part of a community where discussions on any astronomy subject, when you join AccuWeather's Astronomy Facebook Fanpage by clicking here. We are now well over 36,000 likes on Facebook. Also find and follow us at @AccuAstronomy on twitter. Tell your friends about this site and blog and have them weigh in on some exciting issues. We encourage open discussion and will never criticize any idea, and no negative conversation will be allowed.
The experts on both Facebook and Twitter will keep you up to date on any astronomy-related subject. Please feel free to share your opinions.
And please keep the astronomy pictures coming. They have been simply amazing. Ask questions, share comments, share anything.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.