Scientists Bewildered by Strange Sun Activity

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Sun and Earth, size comparison. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.
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The Sun is on the brink of an about face, at least as far as its magnetic poles are concerned. 

Once every 11 years the Sun's magnetic field flips, as its north magnetic pole becomes the south and vice versa. But as scientists watch for the flip this year, they're also bewildered by some other strange activity that Sun has been up to.

Normally the Sun has an explosive end to it's solar cycle. Sunspots should be littering the field of view for scientists who follow this activity. But this is far from the case—in fact it's been well over a century since they've seen this much peace and quiet.

The Takeaway is joined by Todd Hoeksema, director of the Wilcox Solar Observatory at Stanford University, which closely watches the sun's magnetic fields.