DETROIT (CBSDETROIT) - The sun is “flipping out”. But scientists say there’s no need for us “earthlings” to follow suit. Mike Narlock, the lead astronomer at Cranbrook, says the sun’s powerful magnetic field is switching polarities.
“The sun has an incredibly strong magnetic field … that really dominates our solar system and over this 11 year period … the magnetic field of the sun goes to zero and then re-emerges, and when it re-emerges, it’s actually up-side down from what it was,” said Narlock.
He says the “flip” may actually be good for planet earth because the flip causes the sun’s electric current sheet to develop waves and block out cosmic rays.
“If you want to imagine a big sheet of current that extends out from the equator of the Sun and goes out into the solar system – when the flip happens – this sheet gets a little bit wavy. A little bit, not so flat, and that a good thing for us,” he says.
“We think that – that radiation can impact how strong or severe storms and lightning are on the earth — so if this sheet actually protects us from more of those rays then we think storms may be less severe and lightning will be less frequent here on planet Earth,” said Narlock.
Narlock says the magnetic field flip does not happen overnight.
It takes months and should be complete in the next few weeks. The Earth’s magnetic field, by the way, “flips” every 2,000 years.