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Sun Spews "Curling Spray Of Plasma" Ahead Of Magnetic Flip

posted 9 Dec 2013, 12:27 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 9 Dec 2013, 12:29 ]

The sun has put on another spectacular light show ahead of the expected reversal of its magentic field within the month. Images caught by the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory show what NASA calls a "curling spray" of plasma leaping from an active region of the sun's surface as it came into view on December 5.

 IN SPACE (DECEMBER 5, 2013) ( SOLAR DYNAMICS OBSERVATORY/NASA) -  The December 5 ejection of plasma was the latest in a spectacular series of solar events over the past two years, that scientists say occur naturally as the sun approaches the mid-point of it solar cycle. When that time arrives, the sun's magnetic field polarity will flip in a phenomenon that occurs every 10-13 years.

Because the sun is not a solid object, its various parts rotate at different speeds. Those disparities generate magnetic fields that over the course of the sun's normal cycle, rise to the surface to produce suns spots and flares. As the cycle continues, the violence on the surface of the sun increases in frequency and intensity until the field flips upside down and the poles reverse.

Scientists say the event is not expected to have much - if any - direct impact on Earth.

NASA says the latest video covers about 5.5 hours of solar activity.


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