Every 11 years, our sun reaches a height in its solar cycle. During this solar maximum, the sun’s polarity disappears for a bit, and re-emerges with its poles in the opposite direction.
Fortunately for us, late 2013 is the expected time for the the sun’s solar maximum. While we may not be able to see this awesome natural occurrence, we do see its effect on earth.
The change in polarity causes the sun to emit charged particles throughout the galaxy. Some of these particles fall into the Earth’s atmosphere and on impact radiate different gases in the form of light, also known as the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).
With the Solar Maximum occurring, this winter’s Northern Lights will be a spectacle everyone needs to keep an eye on!
Sources: NASA SPACE SUN PICTURE