What is a solar cycle?

Every 11 years or so, the Sun’s magnetic field completely flips. This means that the Sun’s north and south poles switch places. Then it takes about another 11 years for the Sun’s north and south poles to flip back again. The solar cycle is the cycle that the Sun’s magnetic field goes through approximately every 11 years. The solar cycle affects activity on the surface of the Sun, such as sunspots which are caused by the Sun’s magnetic fields.

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