Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/7/2013 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Are we in danger?

The Sun is literally about to flip out as it's magnetic field is about to reverse itself. As the hype and hysteria begins, what do you need to know about this spectacular event and how will it affect you?

The Sun is entangled with magnetic field lines. Image credit: Science @NASA.

The Sun is entangled with magnetic field lines. Image credit: Science @NASA.

Article Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/7/2013 (8 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Sun, polarity, magentic field, Sun Fox, Sun Drudge, Sun NBC, news, space, doomsday


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Doomsayers and purveyors of apocalypse have been seeking a new deadline for humanity since December 21, 2012. Now they have one. In a few months, the Sun will reverse its magnetic field.

What will this mean to us on Earth?

Unless you spend money to buy the book or subscribe to the doomsday website, the reversal will do nothing to you.

In fact, the Sun reverses its magnetic field every 11 years, like clockwork. Scientists can even predict within a fairly accurate window when this will occur. At this time, the window is down to sometime within the next few months.

The Sun follows an 11-year cycle of activity. At the peak of that activity, the surface of the Sun seethes with a boiling froth of plasma, and magnetic field lines become tangled. As these lines twist, they eventually break and cast large plumes of radioactive plasma into space.

For more than a year, the Sun has been ramping up its activity, headed for a crescendo of outbursts, which will culminate in a flipping of its polarity. The Sun will then enter a quiet phase that will last for nearly a decade.

These 11-year periods are called cycles. Remarkably, the Sun has had one of the quietest cycles in its recorded history. So although the Sun should be remarkably active and bubbling with activity, it has been surprisingly quiet.

Still, scientists are able to monitor the Sun's activity, even when subdued, and they now predict with certainty that the time has come for its poles to reverse.

A strong magnetic field protects Earth from the worst the Sun can do. A polar reversal is a major event for the Sun, but for us on Earth, if it weren't mentioned on the news, we would hardly know. The reversal has no discernible effect on the weather, or our safety.

The most common sign the Sun is active are geomagnetic storms which can be witnessed on Earth as the northern or southern lights, or aurora.

As charged particles strike the upper atmosphere, they cause molecules in the upper atmosphere to glow with color. During active phases of solar cycles, geomagnetic storms are more common and more powerful, so auroras are sometime visible outside of their normal, polar latitudes.

Beyond this, there is nothing people on the ground really need to worry about. Solar radiation storms can now be predicted and power grids, which can be susceptible to  these storms, can be managed to withstand the influx of solar radiation.

The greatest danger remains to astronauts and satellites in space, which can be exposed to extra radiation. Like power grids on Earth, these people and systems can be sheltered for the several hours it takes for such a storm to pass.

Unless you're a doomsayer or gullible and buy the survival guide, then there's no risk to you. Still, it's interesting to know that our Sun reverses its poles every 11 years.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Technology

IS THE SECOND COMING NIGH? Four blood moons this year all occur on Jewish holidays Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As climate change wreaks havoc worldwide, and relations between the U.S. and Russia reach a low point over Ukraine, some Christians say that the phenomenon of the "Blood moon" may mean that Christ's return is rapidly approaching. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Will Alibaba devour Facebook? China's massive Alibaba is coming to conquer the United States Watch

Image of Yahoo's dominance has since dwindled as Alibaba has since grown into a global powerhouse.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ali Baba for those in the west usually means the storybook leader of a gang of fearless, 40 thieves. But this will soon change. A massive e-commerce site from China, Alibaba, with revenue larger than Amazon and eBay combined has decided to go public in the ... continue reading


Drone images reveal more about mysterious buried village in New Mexico Watch

Image of Drone images have captured fascinating new details about a buried Native American village in New Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drone images have captured fascinating new details about a buried Native American village in New Mexico. Thermal images captured by the small drone allowed archaeologists to peer under the surface of the desert floor, revealing never-before-seen structures. LOS ... continue reading


New 'Star Wars' gun fires shells seven times the speed of sound through concrete -- 100 miles away Watch

Image of The rail gun will be mounted on high-speed vessel the USNS Millinocket for sea trials in 2016.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A futuristic lethal new weapon capable of firing a shell at seven times the speed of sound has since been successfully tested on land. Conjuring up images of iconic sci-fi villains as Darth Vader, researchers have called the new rail gun as being of 'Star Wars' ... continue reading


KETTLE CALLING THE POT BLACK? Internet search engines exhibiting double standards Watch

Image of An old cliche -- that bears repeating --

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Certain cliché sayings come to mind: The kettle calling the pot black, having one's cake and eating it too . Google, along with Facebook and Yahoo have come down hard on the Obama administration for information gathering - but NOW don't want their ... continue reading


Scientists discover massive asteroid hit Earth so hard that oceans evaporated Watch

Image of Earth was struck several times by massive asteroids billions of years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists from Stanford University say they have found evidence of another cataclysmic cosmic collision between Earth and another asteroid billions of years ago. This asteroid, they say, was so large it punched a hole in the Earth's crust and caused earthquakes around ... continue reading


Why is NASA rejecting definitive proof of life on Mars? Watch

Image of Curiosity recently captures this image that shows light on the ground on Mars. NASA thinks it's just a glint off rock or some other similar anomaly.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Curiosity rover has photographed what appears to be light emanating from the ground on Mars. UFO and alien life enthusiasts as well as conspiracy theorists have all claimed the light is evidence of life on the Red Planet. NASA however, is not so sure. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


HANG ON TOTO! Astronomers calculate the speed of the Universe's expansion Watch

Image of Hang on! The universe is expanding at 1 percent per 44 million years, which is fast if you consider the size of the universe is at least 46 billion years in radius!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hold on to your hat, Toto, we're about to leave Kansas. Astronomers say they have calculated the expansion rate of the universe and their discovery is very surprising. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Astronomers have long been interested in measuring the expansion ... continue reading


Universe, you really let me down: astronomers disappointed after observation doesn't fit model Watch

Image of Galaxy clusters such as these should be more common throughout the universe than they are.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two professors say they are disappointed with the universe after learning that it is "smoother" and "flatter" than they expected. The compared the discovery to a trip to Switzerland that was switched for a trip to the Netherlands. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Hello Enceladus! Forget Mars, here's where extraterrestrial life can be found in the solar system Watch

Image of Jets of water, rich in organic molecules spew over the icy surface of Enceladus.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Astronomers believe they have found proof that Saturn's icy moon Enceladus hosts a deep saltwater ocean. Scientists say that of such an ocean exists, it may be the most likely place in the solar system, rather than on Mars, to find life elsewhere besides Earth. LOS ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 61:1-3, 6, 8-9
1 The spirit of Lord Yahweh is on me for Yahweh has ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:21-22, 25, 27
21 My hand will always be with him, my arm will make ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-21
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Reading 2, Revelation 1:5-8
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 17th, 2014 Image

St. Anicetus
April 17: Anicetus was a Syrian from Emesa. He became pope about 155 and ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter