Why The Sun Is About To Turn Upside Down

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Big changes are about to occur on the Sun. Anything that happens on the Sun is big of course—especially to the pipsqueak planets that orbit it and surely for Earth depending on it for life.

But this time the changes are big even by solar standards: The Sun’s magnetic field is about to flip upside down, its opposing magnetic poles switching places—north to south, top to bottom. It’s as though you took a bar magnet and rotated it 180°, except it’s the magnetism that rotates, not the magnet—and the magnet in this case is a million miles (1.6 million km) across, has a surface temperature of about 11,000°F (6,000°F) and weighs about 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons, give or take. So definitely big……

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