Sun Diverging From Normal?

I am not sure that we know what normal is on the sun, but it is not behaving as we have seen in the near term, last 200 years.

Typically, around the end of each 11-year sunspot cycle, the sun’s magnetic fields switch direction. The northern and southern hemispheres switch polarity, usually simultaneously.

But this time, something different is happening. The north pole already reversed its polarity several months ago — it is now the same polarity as the south pole.

I am not sure what the long term impact would be?  It would lead to much quieter sun with fewer spots. Researchers speculate this could be the start of a prolonged period of weak solar activity.

The last time we had an extended quiet period was during the Maunder Minimum between 1650 and 1715, when almost no sunspots were observed. During the same period, temperatures dropped sharply on Earth. Some scientist say this sparking the “Little Ice Age”, with the largest impact in the Northern Hemisphere, but felt less in the Southern Hemisphere.

It will be an interesting few months, as we observe the magnetic field on the sun. Stay Tuned.

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Author: Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

1 thought on “Sun Diverging From Normal?”

  1. You might find this interesting, I recently spent a few months reconstructing solar maximums and minimums all the way back to the 10th century and my results have a very high degree of agreement between the timing of large sunspot groups being observed in the historical naked eye record.
    My technique involved keeping the timing of each solar cycle in line with the orbital timing of Jupiter and the direction of Uranus’s polarity, I completed this technique twice, the first time I began from the 1100’s I gathered the data and plotted the maximums and minimums up to the present, the second time I began from the present and worked back to the 1100’s, the interesting thing is in both cases the solar maximum and minimum reversed but kept in time over the sunspot record during the Maunder Minimum, the only explanation for this anomaly (assuming the timing of the sunspot record is reasonably accurate) is that over this period the sun’s magnetic field did not flip and there was a solar minimum where normally there would be a solar maximum, this resulted in the sun remaining in a solar minimum for approximately 33 years.

    If the sun is heading into a prolonged solar Minimum similar to the Maunder Minimum I think we should expect the polarity of the suns magnetic field to remain the same through a prolonged period (beginning at solar minimum). If you visualize this process as a bar magnet inside the sun flipping upside down approximately every 11 years, the peak of solar activity occurs during the point when the north and south polarities of the bar magnet reaches the suns equator, but during a prolonged minimum the polarities of the bar magnet remains aligned with the suns polar regions.

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