07/08/2013 04:49 BST

Sun's Magnetic Field About To Completely Flip, Bringing Stormy Space Weather To Earth

The Sun is about to flip out.

Its magnetic field is set to do a complete 180, changing poles as the nurturer of all life on Earth reaches the halfway point of "solar maximum".

Should you start digging a shelter in your garden? Well, not quite.

The phenomenon happens around every 11 years as the Sun reaches the peak of its solar cycle.

Physicist Phil Scherrer soothed our terrified minds and said: "The sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero, and then emerge again with the opposite polarity.

"This is a regular part of the solar cycle."

That's not to say is isn't a significant event. The sun's heliosphere - the domain of its magnetic influence - extends far out beyond Pluto in what scientists refer to as a "sheet".

A flip in the magnetic field causes ripples in this. As the Earth passes in and out of the sheet "stormy space weather" can occur around our planet.

Scherrer and fellow physicists have been monitoring the Sun from Stanford University'sWilcox Solar Observatory and expect the flip to happen in around three to four months.

He said: "The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up.

"Soon, however, both poles will be reversed, and the second half of Solar Max will be underway."