Glossary term: Solar Cycle

Also known as Sunsport cycle

Description: The solar cycle is the approximately 11-year cycle in the number of sunspots, solar flares, and other forms of activity on the Sun. This activity is generated by the Sun's general magnetic field. Since that magnetic field switches between north and south polarity every eleven years, it takes a full 22-year period for the Sun's magnetic poles to return to their original configuration.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition have been approved by a research astronomer and a teacher

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".