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The Sun is on an 11-year cycle.


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The Sun is on an 11-year cycle.
The Sun is on an 11-year cycle.

How the Sun Flips its Field.

Nov 19, 2003 Astronomers have known for a while that the Sun is on an 11-year cycle where it eventually flips its magnetic field, but new observations from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) help show this process in action. Over the course of the cycle, the Sun fires off more than a thousand coronal mass ejections which carry away the Sun's magnetic field. This allows a new flipped magnetic field to form. When SOHO first started observing the Sun in 1996, our star was relatively quiet - since then the Sun has gotten quite active, and this has given solar Astronomers a chance to see how this process unfolds over time.

NASA Reforms Safety Panel.

Nov 19, 2003 NASA has set up a new safety advisory panel to replace the previous group that resigned back in September following the Columbia accident investigation report. The new ten members make up the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, and will be an independent group responsible for safety oversight of NASA operations. This new safety board will play a key role in helping to ensure the space shuttles are safe to return to flight later in 2004.

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