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Sun's magnetic field flip, due soon, is a mystery

If you're confused about the sun's impending magnetic field flip, don't feel bad — scientists don't fully understand it, either. The sun's magnetic field will reverse its polarity three or four months from now, researchers say, just as it does every 11 years at the peak of the solar activity cycle. While solar physicists know enough about this strange phenomenon to predict when it will occur, its ultimate causes remain mysterious. "That gets into the whole cycle, and wondering what that is," Stanford University solar physicist Phil Scherrer told SPACE.com. "We still don't have a really self-consistent mathematical description of what's happening. And until you can model it, you don't really understand it — it's hard to really understand it." See More Plus Video at NBC News.com.

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